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Cornell University Library 
DA 483.C78C73 



Thomas Coram, churchman, empire builder 




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THOMAS CORAM 

/" CHURCHMAN, EMPIRE BUILDER 
AND PHILANTHROPIST 



BY THE REV. 

H. F. B. COMPSTON, M.A. 



WITH FOUR ENGRAVINGS 



LONDON -y 

SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING , ',"'!'' 
CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE "" \: 
1918 



PWNTBD BT 

■WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMUBD, 

LONDON AND BKOOLES 



IN MEMOEIAM 

THOMAE CORAM 

NAVICVIiAEII 

ECCLESIAE PATHIAEQVB PII CVLTOEIS 

COLONIAEVM PERITI COLLOCANDAEVM 

HOSPITII INPANTVM EXPOSITOEVM CONDITOEIS 

QVI OBDOEMIVIT IN CHEISTO 

IV KAL : APE : ANNO SAtVTIS MDCCLI 

ANNOB NATVS MAJOE LXXXIH 

HANC ADVMBEATIONEM 

VITAE VTILISSIMAE 

DELINEAVIT 

H. P. B. 0. 

MCMXVin 



PREFACE 

This sketch was outlined in a lecture delivered 
before the Theological Society of King's 
College, London, in October, 1917, and re- 
peated in a revised form in November, at a 
public meeting of the Ladies' Association of 
the Royal Colonial Institute. The subject 
clearly evoked interest, and many of my 
hearers expressed a hope that the lectiu-e 
would be published. In the form in which it 
now appears it has been possible to enlarge 
considerably the scope of the work; and 
several documents are now printed for the 
first time. 

Readers of Brownlow will see that I am 
much indebted to his — or rather Brocklesby's 
— summary ; but I have, where possible, had 
recourse to original documentary and other 
sources, and my aim has been to use the avail- 
able material in such a way as to give a com- 
prehensive view of Coram's career as fully as 
it can, with our present knowledge, be traced. 



6 PREFACE 

The work was begun as an introduction to 
a study of the Annals of the Foundling Hos- 
pital, on which I subsequently embarked in 
co-operation with Mr. Keginald H. Nichols, 
Secretary to that great Charity. For the 
latter task the material is so abundant that 
we shall be able to give but little space to the 
founder's life. This may perhaps be allowed 
to justify the separate work now published, 
only a small portion of which is directly con- 
cerned with the Foundling. 

I wish to thank the Governors of the 
Foundling Hospital for their kind permission 
to search in the archives, and to reproduce 
pictures. Mr. Nichols has given much valued 
help of various kinds; and I am also in- 
debted, to Rev. Dr. Whitney, Dr. A. P. New- 
ton, Rev. Claude Jenkins, Rev. Dr. Hodges, 
Rev. M. Taylor, Rev. W. N. Willson, Mr. J. 
Paul de Castro, Mr. H. S. Liesching, Dr. H. S. 
Bennett, and Rev. Canon Myers. 

If this little work finds its way to America 
I hope that some admirer of Coram there 
may add to our knowledge of the man and 
his work by making use of material probably 
available at Boston. 

H. F. B. COMPSTON. 

MarOt, 1918. 



CONTENTS 



CHAP. PAGE 

3 



Dedication 
Pbbfacb ... 
I. Ihtboddotion 

n. A CoaAM BlBIilOGBAPHY 

ni. Ltme Beqis: Gobam tee Sailob-boy 

rV. MaSSAOHUBBTTS : COBAM THE OhUBCHMAN 

V. Afloat amd Abhobb : Coeam the EitpiEE-BUiiiDEB ... 44 

VI. The Foundling Hospital: Coeam the Philaniheo- 

PI8T ... .., ,.. ... ... ... 81 

YII. " Though men be so stbong thai they comb to 

FOUE BCOBB YBABB, yet " ... ... ... Ill 



ILLUSTKATIONS 



5 
9 

u 

20 
26 



TO PACE PAGB 

1, Poetbait of Captain Coeam, aftbe Hogaeth ... Title 

2. Lyme Bbgib, fbom a Pbint pxiblibhed in 1723 ... 22 

3, The Foundling Hobeital, feom a Peint published 

in 1753 82 

4. The Coeam Statue, Foundling Hobpital „ 110 



THOMAS CORAM 



INTRODUCTION 

Charity as a force really active in human 
affairs dates from Calvary. It acquired co- 
hesion and gained momentum when the 
Roman Empire adopted Christianity as the 
state religion. The history of its movement 
is chequered. Unwise methods often tend 
to increase the evils they are intended to 
remove. The monasteries, which for many 
centuries were executive agents of Christian 
charity, in some ways did harm. But they 
probably did more good than harm ; and 
when in England they were suppressed it 
soon became clear that something must be 
done to replace the charitable ministries so 
rudely interrupted. Thus came, inter alia, 
the Elizabethan Poor Laws. It might be 
supposed that Poor Laws are the fruit of 

9 



10 THOMAS CORAM 

state obligations and not charity. But in 
the sixteenth century this view was apparently 
not taken. And quite consistently the policy 
that produced the Poor Law went on to 
express itself in the Statute of Charitable 
Uses (1601), This was intended to safeguard 
all forms of private philanthropy as ancillary 
to that of the state. 

" For relief of aged, impotent and poor people, 
some for maintenance of sick and maimed soldiers 
and mariners, schools of learning, free schools, 
and scholars in Universities, some for repair of 
bridges, ports, havens, causeways, churches, sea- 
banks and highways, some for education and 
preferment of orphans, some for or towards relief, 
stock or maintenance for houses of correction, 
some for marriages of poor maids, some for sup- 
portation, aid and help of young tradesmen, 
handicraftsmen and persons decayed, and others 
for relief or redemption of prisoners or captives, 
and for aid or ease of any poor inhabitants con- 
cerning payment of fifteens, setting out of soldiers, 
and other taxes." 

It may be noted, in passing, that this 
somewhat quaint assortment of " Charitable 
Uses" suggests not remotely certain links 
between Philanthropy and Empire-building. 



INTRODUCTION ii 

The civil war of the seventeenth century 
checked this manifold beneficence. People 
had less money to give away. The Puritan 
ascendancy was short-lived and it would be 
unfair to charge it with neglect. And since 
charity never faileth it soon reappears. 
But it reappears with a difference. Men 
were finding out the benefits of co-operation 
in trade ; and " Joint Stock " Charity began 
its beneficent course. 

"Benevolent persons were discovering with 
wonder what were the glorious effects it had 
pleased God's infinite goodness to produce by 
subscriptions merely diu-ing the will of the con- 
tributor, and many of them not exceeding one 
guinea a year." ^ 

Join the two forces of readiness to con- 
tribute guineas and earnest personal work 
for good causes, and you have the main 
features of the charitable and philanthropic 
activity for which the eighteenth century is 
honourably conspicuous. The movement had 
set in towards the close of the previous 

^ B. Kirkman Gray, A History of English Phil- 
anthropy, 1905, p. 80, quoting from An Account of . . , 
St. George's Hospital, 1737. 



12 THOMAS CORAM 

century. It was strong under Anne, less so 
under the first two Georges/ and very 
powerful and extensive in the second half of 
the century. 

On looking closer at the movement there 
seem to be three characteristics worth noting 
for our present study. 

(1) It was promoted by laymen, who saw 
what needed doing and did it with or without 
help from the Church. 

(2) These laymen were, however, persons 
with religious outlook and principles. They 
provided their Charities, for example, with 
chapels and preachers. 

(3) They represent some of the varied 
activities to which we owe the upbuilding of 
our empire. Trade and commerce, law, 
printing and journalism, the service of the 
state, the army, — all are there. The mer- 
cantile marine is represented by Thomas 

1 Mr. Gray {op. cit. pp. 262, 263) justly criticizes 
Mr. Lecky's rather scant regard for this period's 
philanthropic output. Coram secured the Foundling 
Charter in 1739. The Magdalen Hospital, the Female 
Orphan Asylum, the Marine Society, were all at work 
before George III. began his reign. Lecky post-dates 
the Magdalen by eleven years. 



INTRODUCTION 13 

Coram, who did more for the direct pro- 
motion of colonial enterprise than any 
eighteenth-century philanthropist with the 
possible exception of Oglethorpe. 

This latter side of Coram' s activity has 
been overshadowed by his great work in 
projecting the Foundhng Hospital; but un- 
doubtedly he lent a hand to work that con- 
tributed directly to the upbuilding of empire. 
That this was recognized in his lifetime is 
clear, as wiU appear in these pages. A 
single instance may be given in this Intro- 
duction. In the London Advertiser and 
Literary Gazette for Monday, April 1, 1751, 
an obituary notice of Coram remarks that 
" among the many pubHc Acts of UtiUty 
by which his Memory will live, it may suffice 
to mention one of the latest." Then follows 
a reference to the Foundhng. " One of the 
latest " is now the only one of Coram' s 
" acts of utility " commonly remembered. 
It seems worth while to attempt to gain a 
clear idea of his career and work as a whole. 



II 

A CORAM BIBLIOGRAPHY 

The life of Captain Thomas Coram seems 
never to have been recorded in detail, and 
the available materials are probably in- 
sufficient for the full story. It will be con- 
venient at the outset to notice the principal 
existing sources of information, especially 
since the meagre article on Coram in the 
Dictionary of National Biography offers little 
guidance as to printed works and none as to 
manuscripts. 

There are several MSS. at the Foundling, 
a few at the British Museum, the Bodleian, 
and Lambeth Palace ; and some at Boston, 
Massachusetts. 

Important among printed works is J. 
Brownlow, Memoranda or Chronicles of the 
Foundling Hospital including Memoirs of 
Captain Coram, 1847. Brownlow, who was 
secretary of the Foundling and a careful and 

14 



A CORAM BIBLIOGRAPHY 15 

enthusiastic student of its history, though 
untrained in scientific method, reissued this 
as a new work, differently arranged and with 
several regrettable omissions, in 1858, with 
the title. History and Objects of the Foundling 
Hospital with a Memoir of the Founder. This 
is now in its fourth edition as revised by 
Brownlow's successor in the secretaryship of 
the FoundHng, Mr. W. S. Wintle, 1881. 
Though showing certain obvious defects in 
arrangement and treatment, Brownlow's com- 
pilation is the most convenient work hitherto 
accessible, and the present writer is much 
indebted to it. The special usefulness of the 
work lies in its extensive quotations from a 
memoir written by Dr. Brocklesby. Richard 
Brocklesby, M.D. ("the 'Rock less B' of 
the wits "1), figures in the pages of BosweU, 
for he was a personal friend of Johnson and 
a distinguished medical man. He published 
his Harveian Oration and other works. But 
the list of his writings in the British Museum 
contained, up to a recent date, no sign of 
Coram, and Brownlow gives no reference to 

1 Austin Dobson, An Eighteenth Century Hippo- 
crates (W. Heberden), in the National Review, Dec, 1917. 



i6 THOMAS CORAM 

its title and date. There is, however, an 
anonymous pamphlet published in fche year 
of Coram's death (1751), Private Virtue 
and TpvblicTc Spirit displayed in a succinct 
Essay on the Character of Captain Thomas 
Coram, in which I found every passage 
attributed to Brocklesby by Brownlow. And 
since the latter writer, who was connected 
with the Foundling all his life, shows an 
accurate knowledge of his subject and quotes 
unhesitatingly as from Brocklesby, there is 
every reason to believe that Brocklesby wrote 
the pamphlet. The British Museum authori- 
ties have recently agreed to regard this as 
a provisional identification. The pamphlet 
so largelj' reproduced by Brownlow is of 
the highest importance as an estimate of 
Coram's career by a personal friend and a 
writer of some distinction. 

Next to this, but at a distance, I should 
be inclined to place a very different work, 
The Scandalizade, a Pctnegyri-Satiri-Serio- 
Comi-Dramatic Poem, by Porcupinus Pelagius 
(1750), author of the Causidicade. This 
vigorous, and often coarse, effusion was 
written while Coram was still living, and 



A CORAM BIBLIOGRAPHY 17 

it contains some instructive references to 
him. 

Of other early accounts may be noted 
those in the London Magazine, 1739, 1749, 
1751, and the Gentleman^ s Magazine {which 
takes care to speak of Coram as " Captain 
by courtesy "), 1751. Short obituary notices 
are given in various morning and evening 
newspapers for March 30 or April 1, 1751 
(e.g. London Evening Post, Penny London 
Post, London Advertiser, Whitehall Evening 
Post). 

There are references to Coram in Hutchins's 
great History of Dorset, first pubhshed in 
1774, and in Nichols and Stevens, Works 
of William Hogarth, vol. i. 1808. A good 
account is given by Geo. Koberts in his 
History and Antiquities of the Borough of 
Lyme Regis and Charmouth, 1834, pp. 279- 
284, a work that deserves reissue. Books on 
London topography, such as Besant's and 
Walford's, have notes on Coram in con- 
nexion with the Foundling. Many will have 
read Mr. Austin Dobson's dehghtful Uttle 
paper on Captain Coram' s Charity in Eighteenth 
Century Vignettes, vol. i. 1892. Mr. Dobson 

B 



i8 THOMAS CORAM 

there describes a book in his possession that 
once belonged to Coram — Samuel Pepys's 
Memoirs relating to the State of the Boyal 
Navy, 1688. This volume, on a subject of 
interest to Coram, was presented to him by 
one C. Jackson, March 14, 1724, and Coram 
gave it to a Mr. Mills, June 10, 1746. There 
is another reference to this interesting reBc 
in Mr. Dobson's De Lihris, 1908. 

There are some important American 
publications to note — ^P. W. P. Greenwood, 
History oj King's Chapel in Boston, 1833 ; 
N. T. Bent (misprinted " Brent " in the 
D. N. B.), Discourse historical o/ St. Thomas^ 
Church, Taunton, Mass., 1844 ; the valuable 
Historical Collections of the American Colonial 
Church (vol. iii. Massachusetts), 1873 (con- 
taining documents not printed elsewhere) ; 
and a very readable paper read before the 
American Antiquarian Society, Boston, in 
1892, by Hamilton Andrews Hill, Thomas 
Coram in Boston and Taunton. 

For readers interested specially in Coram 
as philanthropist, B. Kirkman Gray (mis- 
printed B. K. " Conway " in Cambridge 
Modern History, vol. vi. p. 855), History of 



A CORAM BIBLIOGRAPHY 19 

English Philanthropy, 1905, is of the greatest 
service. It is a masterly survey of the whole 
subject. Mr. G. S. Loch's article, Charity, 
in the Encyclopcsdia Britannica, xi. ed., is 
very clear and full. More limited in range 
is the scholarly research thesis of Mr. 
Garnet Portus (a Rhodes Scholar from 
Austraha), Caritas Anglicana, 1912, dealing 
with the period 1678-1740. 

Other authorities will be referred to as 
required in the course of the work. 



Ill 

LYME BEGIS : COBAM THE SAILOE-BOY 

Thomas Cobam was a Dorset man, though 
he appears to have belonged to the Cor- 
^ams, an old Devonshire family long con- 
nected with Ottery St. Mary and, later on, 
with Kinterbury.i When Coram became 

1 At the Foundling Hospital (Library, vol. 45) 
is a MS. copy of the Achievement and Pedigree of 
the Corhams as entered in Book C. 1. fo. 262 in the 
Herald's College. The armorial bearings are " Two 
Coats quarterly. First Argent a Cross between 4 
Eagles displayed Sable. Secondly, Sable a fess 
between 3 antelopes passant Or, the third as the 
second, the fourth as the first. Crest on a wreath 
an Otter Or." 

For Kinterbury see Tristram Risdon, Survey of 
Devon, an early seventeenth-century work. Risdon 
died 1640. The allusion occurs in the Additions of 
the 1811 edition : " Kinterbury was for several gene- 
rations the property and residence of the family of 
Corham. It has recently been sold by Francis Corhanj, 
Esq. to Mr. Andrews, a farmer." 

The Pedigree notes that Thomas Corham, born 
Jan. 4, 1720, was presented with a silver cup by his 
godfather, Captain Thomas Coram. 

20 



CORAM THE SAILOR-BOY 21 

a public character in London there must have 
been many a witticism on Coram and coram 
{" in the presence of "), for eighteenth-century 
punsters knew their Latin better than those 
of to-day. 

His father is believed to have been a 
master mariner of Lyme Regis, and here 
Thomas Coram was born about the year 
1668. Of his baptism no record has been 
found. A younger brother, William, was 
baptized at Lyme in 1671. 

Of Thomas's boyhood nothing is known 
save the approximate date of his first voyage. 
We may picture him as a sturdy lad, rosy- 
cheeked, with honest, open countenance, 
speaking the broad " Darset," now, un- 
happily, becoming rare ; often down amidst 
the shipping at the famous old harbour the 
" Cobb," perhaps " creeping like snail un- 
wiUingly to school," and attending with his 
mother, and his father when home from a 
voyage, the Sunday services at the old 
parish church, dedicated to St. Michael the 
Archangel. The Vicar of Lyme Regis at that 
time was the Rev. Timothy Hallett, who, 
it would appear, had^4)een appointed to the 



22 THOMAS CORAM 

living about five years before Goram's birth, 
and held it for no less than sixty-six years. 
It may well be that at Lyme Regis Coram 
in early childhood conceived that affection 
for the Church of England which he retained 
all his life. 

He may have been able faintly to recall 
the exciting battle at sea o£E Lyme Eegis in 
1672, when the British defeated the Dutch 
fleet ; and he would be sure to hear from 
his elders stories of the long siege of the 
town in 1644, when Prince Maurice tried in 
vain to capture it for the RoyaUsts. Of 
smuggling and smugglers he would hear 
much ; Lyme Regis and Beer, a few miles 
to the west, were notorious for their contra- 
band trade. And from old sailor-men down 
at the Cobb, or from his father, he would 
hear stories of Lyme's more prosperous dayB 
of long ago, when the port had a big trade 
with the West Indies, and with France and 
Spain. Lyme ships and seamen helped to 
defeat the Spanish Armada. He might learn 
that the town is mentioned in Domesday 
Book, and that its Charter dates from 
Edward I. It would be interesting to know 









lis .»^' 










q -5 



Jjl^, g 3;; 









CORAM THE SAILOR-BOY 23 

whether young Coram was home from a 
voyage when the Duke of Monmouth landed 
at Lyme to begin his ill-fated rebellion in 
1685. Did he watch the Helderenbergh and 
her two companion vessels when they dropped 
anchor outside the Cobb to the westward, 
and did he follow the royal rebel to his 
quarters at the George Inn ? 

But Lyme Regis, one of the loveliest and 
oldest of English seaports, soon fades from 
the picture of Coram's hfe ; and there is 
little or nothing in the town to remind the 
tourist of its worthy son except his portrait 
on postcards, for which there is but small 
demand. I would venture to suggest to Dorset 
men in London, where Coram worked and 
died, that it would be a graceful and patriotic 
act to erect in Lyme Regis some sort of 
memorial to so noble a representative of 
their great coimty.i 

Coram first went to sea in 1679 or 1680. 

1 About the year 1846 Dr. F. P. Hodges, Vicar 
of Lyme Regis, had the Corham coat of arms painted 
on some panelling in the chancel. His successor 
removed this panelling when the church was restored ; 
it appears to have been sold, and nothing is known 
of its whereabouts. 



24 THOMAS CORAM 

This we know from his own statement in 
the letter given on p. 65 : "I went to sea 
at 11 J years old, several years before King 
Charles ye 2'* dyed." He is excusing his 
lack of education ; he could " never speak 
good English," and could not be expected 
to " write good Gramer." 

He was very young to begin the hard Ufe 
of a sailor. Perhaps he first shipped with 
his father or some other Lyme skipper, and 
in that case he would fare better than the 
average sailor-boy of those days, and better 
than if he had joined the Navy. The con- 
ditions of life aboard of a man-of-w^ar early in 
the eighteenth century were deplorable. We 
can picture them vividly from Roderick 
Random. The bad rations came up for 
discussion in Parliament in 1703. Not for 
a century later were water-tanks in general 
use. The water was in casks, and within 
a few days^^of leaving port it became un- 
wholesome to drink. The salt junk created 
a thirst reUeved by poor beer, and the navy 
" hard-tack " biscuits were stubborn fare. 
One hopes that young Coram started out 
with a supply of wholesome food, with perhaps 



CORAM THE SAILOR-BOY 25 

some good Darzet Zider. The Merchant 
Service seems to have attracted the best 
seamen of those days. The pay was often 
higher than that in the Navy. Otherwise 
there was little difference between the two. 
The training was much the same, all the 
ships were saihng-vessels, and a man-of-war 
was just a bigger merchant ship with better 
guns — ^for the tramp wind-jammer went 
armed then as her speedier daughter does 
to-day again. 1 

^ For very interesting treatment of these subjects 
see C. N. Robinson, The British Fleet, 1894. 



IV 

MASSACHUSETTS : CORAM THE CHUBCHMAN 

When Coram first had a ship of his own we 
do not know. As quite a young man he is 
said to have been master of a vessel trading 
between England and Virginia with cargoes 
of pitch and tar ; i and this fact, as we shall 
see, first brought him into prominence as 
a promoter of colonial enterprise. What is 
clear is that in 1693, when only twenty -five 
years of age. Coram crossed the Atlantic for 
a sojourn in America of ten 2 years. He 
took out to Boston a cargo of merchandise. 
But his ship's company included a number of 

1 Hutchins, History of Dorset, ii. p. 76. 

2 See Coram's Memorial . . . to the Archbishop of 
Canterbury [dr. 1747], cited on p. 36 f. " North America 
where he resided Ten successive years in the Several 
Reignes of their late Majesties King William and 
Queen Anne " . . . " First coming into those parts 
54 years past." Cf. his letter to Secretary of S.P.G. 
[1740], cited on p. 31 : ten years in New England. 

26 



CORAM THE CHURCHMAN ^^ 

skilled artizans, and with their assistance he 
started business in Boston as a shipwright, 
financed probably by London merchants.^ 
He was welcomed by the new Governor 
of Massachusetts, Sir William Phipps, who 
like Coram had been bred to the sea, and 
whose character seems to have been somewhat 
like his. 2 

After four or five years at Boston Coram 
removed to Taunton, an early settlement 
(1638) of the Plymouth colony and a chief 
centre of trade for Bristol county. It was 
named after Taunton, Somerset, the home 
of most of the original settlers there. Coram 
appears to have resided alternately at Taunton 
and Boston. In the latter city he met 
Eunice Wait, daughter of John and Eunice 
Wait, and married her on June 27, 1J700. 

Of his shipbuilding an interesting detail 
is recorded. Usually of course a ship is 
launched as soon as the hull is complete, 

^ Memorial to Archbishop : "To promote, carry 
on, and conduct shipbuilding ... on account of 
some considerable merchants of London." 

2 Phipps died in England in 1695, aged 44, while 
awaiting trial for alleged misgovernment, after a 
career of singular interest. 



28 THOMAS CORAM 

and she is fitted out when afloat. But Coram 
speaks of a vessel which he built " finished 
on the stocks and rigg'd," with " all her 
sails and cables on bord her and her anchours 
at the Bows." ^ Mr. Hill aptly recalls The 
Building of the Ship, where the vessel is 
launched fully rigged. Longfellow thought 
it necessary to defend this in his Notes to 
the poem, pointing out that it is " neither 
a blunder nor a poetic Mcense," and Coram's 
practice would support the assertion. Years 
afterwards, in London, Coram did much the 
same for the Foundling Hospital. The new 
Charity, unlike some others of the period, 
had not to wait for its Charter of Incorpora- 
tion ; it was rigged and fitted out forthwith. 

At Taunton Coram met with serious 
annoyance, and his very life was more than 
once in danger. He was implicated in several 
disputes and suffered injustice in the local 
courts : the decisions of the latter were 
reversed or revised by the higher courts to 

^ H. A. Hill, Thomas Coram in Boston and 
Taunton, p. 8. Similarly in Coram's letter to S.P.G., 
1740 (see below, p. 31) : " one of them [i.e. two new 
ships] with the Sails to the Yards ready for the 

Sea." 



CORAM THE CHURCHMAN 29 

which he appealed, however, and when finally 
he " sailed out of Boston Harbour ... he 
had been vindicated in his character, and 
confirmed in the possession of all his rights." ^ 
But in Taunton there was a strong prejudice 
against him. This may have been due partly 
to envy at a new-comer's abiUty and success, 
partly to a certain asperity and forthright- 
ness in his character, and not least to odium 
theologicum. Coram was a staunch Church- 
man in an almost entirely Nonconformist 
environment. Taunton was the last place 
for such a man to settle in. Boston too was 
strongly CongregabionaHst, or " Independent," 
to use the old term ; and when a very old 
man in England' Coram still remembered 
the Independents as "ye most malignantly 
inveterate " of the " discentors " from the 
Church of England.^ But Boston was a 
big place, and had its King's Chapel. There 
was elbow-room. Taunton was a much 
smaller town with absolutely no provision 
for Chiffch folk. The early settlers there 
would have nothing to do with Church customs. 

1 H. A. Hill, op. cit, p. 14. 

2 Memorial to the Archbishop, 1747. 



30 THOMAS CORAM 

Easter and Christmas were superstitious ob- 
servances ; and an organ was a " squeaking 
invention of the Devil." i 

Yet it was at Taunton that Coram found 
his first opportunity for public benevolence. 
The story is an uncommon one. In one of 
his numerous lawsuits Coram suffered the 
injustice of having his shipyard seized, by 
a Deputy Sheriff named Burt, as a penalty 
for some default of payment. The new 
fully-rigged vessel was part of the property 
distrained upon, and Coram's work must have 
been seriously interrupted. He appealed 
successfully to a higher court, and was 
authorized to indemnify himself on Burt's 
estate of fifty-nine acres situate at a place 
called Berkley, near Taunton, and now 
absorbed in the township. On his way to 
levy the execution in company with the 
High Sheriff, while riding "pretty swift 
through a thicket," Coram was shot at 
and narrowly escaped death. The would-be 
assassin was Burt, who had hidden in the 

1 P. C. Lincoln, From Seed to Harvest (A Play 
portraying the history of St. Thomas Church, Taunton, 
Mass.), 1916. 



CORAM THE CHURCHMAN 31 

bushes. Coram himseK has described this 
adventure in a letter to the Secretary of the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 
dated September 18, 1740, printed in the 
Historical Collections of the American Colonial 
Church, vol. iii. p. 342, Burt renewed his 
murderous attempt — 

" In a week or two afterwards he met me in 
a by Place, seized and got me down on the ground 
with intent to murder me and would have done it 
had it not been for a Man coming by accidentally." 

Coram duly took possession of his fifty- 
nine acres " with Turf and Twigg as the 
Maneries \sic'\ there." But he would not use 
the estate for his own personal benefit. A 
marked trait in his character was a complete 
indifference to personal gain. He could have 
become rich. As we shall see, he died penni- 
less. And this windfall he decided to dispose 
of in a way that illustrates his pride, his 
benevolence, his love for the Church, his 
magnanimity to Taunton — and his personal 
distaste for its then inhabitants. By a deed 
dated December 8, 1703, he left the estate 
in trust to the vestry of King's Chapel, 
Boston. The provisions of this deed were — 



32 THOMAS CORAM 

" That if ever hereafter the inhabitants of the 
town of Taunton should be more civiUzed than 
they now are, and if they should incline to have 
a Church of England built amongst them, or in 
their town, then upon application of the inhabi- 
tants of said town, that is to say, forty ratable 
men of them, upon their application, or petition 
to the said vestry, or their successors, for any 
suitable part of said land, to build a Church of 
England, or a school house for the use and service 
of said Church," 

the vestry were authorized to convey a whole 
or part " as they should see good for their 
purpose."! The deed states that this gift 
was made 

" in consideration of the love and respect which 
the donor hath and doth bear unto the said Church 
[of England] as also for other good causes and 
considerations him especially at this present 
moving." 

The recent attempts on his life sufficiently 
explain the last paragraph. 

The land was, however, never used for the 
object Coram had in view. Years passed 

1 Extracts from the deed of gift, kindly sent by 
the Rev. Malcolm Taylor, Rector of St. Thomas, 
Taunton, Mass. 



CORAM THE CHURCHMAN 33 

into decades, and nothing was done. Taunton 
Churchmen built their church in 1740, but 
were unable to avail themselves of Coram's 
generosity ; and in the letter to the S.P.G. in 
1740, quoted above. Coram asks the Society to 
make inquiries through their American agents 
into the neglect of his gift, due, he asserts, to 
" wilful prejudice and mismanagement." He 
thinks the S.P.G. can put the matter right — 

" I am persuaded that the present inhabitants 
of Taunton will not adventure to play their tricks 
with the Corpoi-ation [i.e. S.P.G.] as the last 
generation of vipers there did with me." 

Coram seems to have had no just cause 
for dissatisfaction with Taunton Churchmen, 
for King's Chapel, Boston, was alone answer- 
able for the administration of the trust. 
In reply to inquiries made by the S.P.G., 
Mr. Roger Price, of Taunton, wrote in 1742 
to say that Coram's gift had been unused 
owing to some flaw in the legal instrument.^ 

^ Historical Collections, vol. iii. p. 362. Equally- 
improbable, one would hope, is Coram's suggestion 
(in his letter to the S.P.G.) that the neglect was due 
to the " Senior Minister Mr. Miles " being offended 
because Coram had given the deed to Mr. Bridge, 
a missionary, whom he liked better. 

C 



34 THOMAS CORAM 

This was obviously not the case ; the 
deed, is perfectly clear. But Coram' s stipu- 
lation, " forty ratable men," could not be met. 
The subscription list for the fund raised at 
Taunton for purchasing glebe land contains 
only twenty -six names, i One might have 
supposed that communication with Coram, 
a legal revision of the deed with his approval, 
or a determined effort to find fourteen ratable 
men to support the undertaking, might have 
been attempted. But the fifty-nine acres 
at Berkley were lost to the Church ; and not 
long after the donor's death the property was 
sold by the trustees and the proceeds were 
devoted to the rebuilding of King's Chapel, 
Boston, where Coram had often worshipped. 

In view of Coram' s quite natural irritation 

at the neglect of his gift it is somewhat 

amusing to find that the promoters of the 

building fund actually solicited him for a 

donation ! This naivete did not appeal to 

the old Captain. " If the twelve Apostles 

were to apply to me," he said, " I would persist 

1 N. T. Bent, Discourse historical, etc., p. 9. In 
face of this fact it seems strange that Mr. Bent suggests 
the unsuitability of the site as a possible reason for 
the neglect of Coram's gift. 



CORAM THE CHURCHMAN 35 

in refusing." The gentleman who received 
this vigorous reply writes, " I thought this 
a definitive answer, and so took my leave." ^ 

But the old sea-dog's bark was worse 
than his bite. When the church at Taunton 
was an accomplished fact, and appropriately 
dedicated to St. Thomas, Coram sent over a 
large gift of books to form a parish Library. 
Some of these are still in existence, carefully 
cherished. Many have been lost long ago. 
They included some costly volumes, and 
some were in " dead or foreign languages." 
Among them were Select Discourses of the 
Doctrine of the Two Covenants, Lectures on 
the Catechism, and Friendly Admonition to 
the Drinkers of Brandy. The first Librarian, 
Mr. James Briggs, issued books in exchange 
for pledges to ensure their safe return. Among 
the pledges mentioned in the early records 
were " the hed of a riden hood," " one pare 
of silver balens," " one hankicher," " one 
sheet Coten and Linen and one Pillow," 
and " 15s. Lawful Money." 

In addition to the books for this Lending 

^ H. A. Hill, Thomas Coram in Boston and Taun- 
ton, p. 16. 



36 THOMAS CORAM 

Library Coram sent a Prayer-book given 
by Mr. Onslow, Speaker of the House of 
Commons, for the clergyman's use in church ; 
it is still one of the treasures of this historic 
parish. 1 

Ooram's love for the Church of England 
never failed, and since the sequel to his 
Taunton gift has taken us beyond the period 
of his sojourn in America it will be con- 
venient to notice in this chapter other and 
later instances of his devotion. 

At Lambeth is preserved an interesting 
" Memorial and Petition '" from Coram to 
the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is printed 
in the Historical Collections of the American 
Colonial Church, iii. p. 64. The document 
is undated, a fact noted on the MS. by 
Archbishop Seeker in his own handwriting. 
But it must have been written in 1747 or 
very early in 1748.2 There is nothing to show 

1 N. T. Bent, Discourse historical, etc., Note H. 
J. Brownlow, Memoranda, p. 98. Cf. C. Brockwell's 
letter to S.P.G. (1744), Historical Collections, etc., iii. 
p. 385. 

2 He alludes to his " first coming into those parts 
[sc. Massachusetts] 54 years past." The later Petition 
to the King was in 1748. It should be noted that all 



CORAM THE CHURCHMAN 37 

whether Dr. Potter or Dr. Herring was the 
Archbishop memorialized. Dr. Potter died 
October 10, 1747. 

The petitioner urges the importance of 
estabUshing a Church of England College at 
Cambridge, Massachusetts. He reminds the 
Archbishop of the existence of the very 
eflficient colleges provided in New England 
by the Dissenters. There was Harvard, 
founded as far back as 1650, and Stoughton 
"about 50 years past" (the building was 
erected by 1699) ; and other Colleges were 
in being or were planned. Coram bears 
valuable, because evidently not very gracious, 
testimony to the excellent education there 
obtainable. He would like to see a King's 
College, Cambridge, in America. 

The petition gives sad and striking evi- 
dence of the appalling failure of the Church 
in earlier times to make provision for the 
religious needs of the colonies. When Coram 
went out to Boston in 1693 there was only 
one Church of England clergyman "in all y" 

through Coram's life the legal year began on March 
25. The " New Style " Act of 1750 did not come 
into operation until after his death. 



38 THOMAS CORAM 

inhabited part of y' English Empire [sic] in 
America." And this solitary representative 
of the home-land was clearly a disgrace to 
his profession. Coram speaks of him as 
" a very worthless man." He would spend 
his Saturday nights drinking and playing 
cards with an Irish butcher and an Irish 
barber, and was often very unfit for service 
next morning. People who wanted to recog- 
nize Sunday by going to church were often 
disappointed " and greatly discouraged." 
This was at Boston, where the Nonconformists 
were so conspicuous for the efficiency of 
their organization and for the character and 
ability of their reUgious ministry. The lapse 
of half a century of years had not effaced 
from Coram' s mind the dismal impression. 
It must be remembered that the S.P.G. 
had not come upon the scene at the time to 
which he refers, and matters were apparently 
in a worse state even than in 1675, when 
Bishop Compton's inqtiiries elicited the in- 
formation that there were four clergy in the 
American colonies. The pioneer work of 
men like Wolf all and Heriot in the sixteenth 
century had not been followed up, and the 



CORAM THE CHURCHMAN 39 

Charter of the S.P.G. (1701) shows how 
lamentable was the position of the Church 
of England in the great Transatlantic 
colonies. 1 

But Coram's outlook included more than 
a recognition of the claims of true religion 
and sound learning among British colonists. 
He has never been claimed, I think, as an 
advocate of Christian missions to the heathen. 
Yet in this petition to the Archbishop, as 
in the petition to the King not long after- 
wards presented. Coram urges the desira- 
bihty of evangelizing the children of North 
American Indians. He represents rather 
closely the aims and motives of the S.P.G. , 
which from the outset was a missionary 
organization, seeking to provide not only for 
the needs of colonists, but for their heathen 
neighbours. 

What reception his suggestions met with 
at Lambeth does not appear. But Coram 
meant business, and we soon find him hard 

^ Classified Digest of S.P.G. Records, chap. i. The 
first eleven chapters of this interesting and valuable 
work are well worth studjdng in connexion with the 
life of Coram qua Churchman. 



40 THOMAS CORAM 

at work in fulfilment of his purpose to pro- 
mote a petition to the King ; he tells the 
Archbishop that he will gladly do this in 
spite of his "old age and decayed strength." 
And the springtime of the year 1748 found 
the old mariner, now in his eightieth year, 
going about London inviting people to sign 
the petition. A letter preserved at the 
Foundling Hospital well illustrates his zeal, 
and his alert attention to details. The 
Mr. Austin to whom he writes was a school- 
master in St. Bartholomew's Close — 

" SiK, 

" I request That when you send the two 
Draughts of Petitions Tomorrow Morning, you 
will also be pleasd to send The 2 Rough Draughts 
within the brown paper and that you will also 
be pleasd to send me a little of your best Ink in 
a little vial that I may take it with me for every 
Subscriber to write his Name with it that it may 
look all alike [and as tho subscribed at y' same 
time] and not as tho one name was writen last 
summer and another Bartholomew tide and some 
in one County and some in another ; I pray you 
will rule the Lines with y" Black Lead pencils 
that they may be easily rub* out with bread, if 
needlull. 



CORAM THE CHURCHMAN 41 

" I beg ray best Compliments to Good Mrs, 
Austin. 

" I am with Great Respect, 
" Sir, 

" Your most obedient friend and s*., 

" Thomas Goram. 
" London Wall, 

" 29 April, 1748." 

I have looked in vain for Coram' s last 
petition. But its purpose is clear, and this 
benevolent effort seems to have met with 
support. Brocklesby, writing in 1751, says — 

" His last design, now left an orphan to the 
public care, which it well deserves, was a scheme 
for uniting the Indians in North America more 
closely to the British interest, by an establishment 
for the education of Indian girls. 

" May this charitable and pious purpose, in 
which he lived long enough to make some progress, 
be completed in virtue of his proposal 5 and let 
the benighted Indians in America join with the 
deserted Foundlings in Britain in blessing the 
memory of this worthy man." ^ 

Thus far Coram the Churchman. Between 

the earliest and the latest tokens of his 

1 Quoted by Brownlow, History . . . of the Found- 
ling Hospital, pp. 33, 34. 



42 THOMAS CORAM 

regard for religion there fall events, to be 
chronicled in the two following chapters, 
which will show him hard at work for colonial 
expansion and for philanthropy — each an 
appropriate field for a Chnrchman's activities. 
But before pursuing the thread of his life- 
story I would invite the reader to let the 
imagination dwell for a moment on the picture 
of the octogenarian mariner with ink-bottle 
instead of flower in his button-hole, carrying 
Mr. Austin's fair copy of the petition and 
handing a trimly-cut quUl to the person 
whose signature he solicited. He had nothing 
whatever to gain personally from his task, 
and he had reached an age when such work 
must have taxed his energies. He was 
poor. He had met with trouble. In par- 
ticular, the great hospital which owed its 
existence to him had, as we shall see, acqui- 
esced in his exclusion from its governing 
body. But he must ever be doing — and 
doing good. If he could do no more for 
English children he might get something 
done for little American Indians. Ever loving 
his country and her colonies, and ever sen- 
sible of the claims of rehgion, he would 



CORAM THE CHURCHMAN 43 

once more attempt something tliat might tend 
to the advantage of both. 

•♦ Old age hath yet his honour and his toil ; 
Death closes all ; but something ere the end. 
Some work of noble note, may yet be done." ^ 

^ Tennyson, Ulysses. 



AFLOAT AND ASHORE: CORAM THE EMPIRE- 
BUILDER 

Towards the close of the year 1703 Coram 
appears to have returned to England. And 
he soon found an opportunity of helping in 
the extension of colonial trade. It will be 
remembered that he had in years gone by 
taken to American ports cargoes of tar. 
Whence was that tar obtained ? Not from 
England, but Sweden. It was the tar still 
known as " Stockholm tar," from the great 
fir and pine forests of Scandinavia. And it 
was brought to England in Swedish ships. 
The Tar Company of Sweden had virtually 
the monopoly of the trade ; and the rates 
charged for shipping were " exorbitant and 
arbitrary," " to the great prejudice and dis- 
couragement of the trade and navigation of 
this kingdom." ^ Suggestions had for a long 

1 Statutes at Large, 1704. Anne, c. 10. Preamble 
to Act. 

44 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 45 

time back been made for promoting trade 
in tar, etc., with the colonies,i for Carolina 
and Georgia are rich in pine trees ; and Coram 
seems to have reinforced these suggestions 
in his usual energetic way. 2 The result was 
the " Act for encouraging the importation of 
naval stores from her Majesty's plantations 
in America," 1704. The encouragement took 
the form of a reward or premium for im- 
porting from America : tar at a bonus of 
£4 per tun of 8 barrels, resin or turpentine 
at £3 for 8 barrels. Penalties were fixed for 
destruction of pitch, pine trees, etc. This 
important Act resulted in employment for 
" thousands of families employed in that 
branch of trade in North America," and 
" above a million sterling was saved to the 
nation." 3 

For the next sixteen years or so Coram sailed 
the seas, taking cargoes to and from America, 

^ W. Cunningham, Growth of English Industry and 
Commerce in Modern Times, p. 485. 

^ J. Brownlow, History . . . of the Foundling 
Hospital, p. 9. " In 1704 he was very instrumental 
in planning and procuring" the Act. He probably 
worked for this end before returning to England. 

3 J. Brownlow, History, etc., p. 9. 



46 THOMAS CORAM 

often and perhaps chiefly for the purposes 
of the Royal Navy ; ^ and he made many 
voyages to the newly discovered fisheries of 
Newfoundland. He must have acquired, in 
the course of his journeys, large and particular 
knowledge of the needs and possibilities of 
colonial enterprise. He knew what districts 
would be suited for emigrants from England, 
and what openings there were for trade. 

In 1715 we find him presenting a petition 
to Trinity House, of which he was now a 
younger Brother, proposing a new Settlement 
in some uninhabited part of North America. 
And, doubtless with a view to strengthening 
his position as an advocate for facilitating 
emigration, he prays for " a Certificate from 
the Corporation of his being well affected 
to his Majesty and the government, and of 
his skill in naval affairs." The Board Meeting 
at Trinity House (not in those days at Tower 
Hill, but at Deptford) promptly granted the 
desired Certificate, adding that "Mr. Coram 
was well known to several Elder Brothers." 2 

Coram must have met with adventures 

1 Affidavit, p. 47 f. 

2 Trinity House Minutes, March 6, 1715, p. 2606. 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 47 

in the course of his seafaring Ufa, bub the 
only one on record appears to be that of the 
stranding and plundering of the Sz7,flowzr near 
CuKhaven in 1719. The story is unfolded at 
great length in four separate Affidavits pre- 
served at the Foundling Hospital. Here we 
may read the sworn testimony of the mate 
and carpenter, the boatswain and two seamen, 
the master, and Captain Coram, who shipped 
as " super-cargo." Coram' s evidence seems 
worth reproducing in full, in spite of its 
prolixity, for the document has never been 
printed and is in its way fuU of interest. 
It need hardly be pointed out that Hanover 
was at this time in the dominions of George I. 
as Elector. Hamburg was still one of the 
Hanse ports. 

The story could doubtless be paralleled by 
what has been recorded of Cornish wreckers 
in days not very far distant from our own. 

" Thomas Coram or London Mariner and 
Shipwright 

" Fifty years of age or thereabout Testifieth 
" That he having usually sold to his Majestic 
in the Yeare past and at other times Quantities 



48 THOMAS CORAM 

of Naval Stores from America for the supply of 
his Majesties Navy did about February last past 
Designe to visit His Majesties Germain Dominions 
to see what Supplys of Timber or other Naval Stores 
could be had from thence fitt for the Navy Royal. 

" That Thomas Pearse of London Esqre ; who 
had Inclination to doe something for the raiseing 
a Trade at His Majesties City of Harburg, knowing 
the designe of the said Coram that he would goe 
for The River Elve, did desire him to take with 
him 6 Ship Load of Wheat for Hamburg and 
sell it there, and part of the Money it shou'd 
produce at Hamburg, he should lay out at his 
Majesties said Citty of Harburg to Load the ship 
there, and send her from thence back for London 
or elsewhere, to which the said Coram consented. 

" Accordingly the said Thomas Pearse on his 
own proper Account put fourhundred and fifteen 
Quarters of fine Wheat on board one of his Ships 
called the Sea Flower then at London (Henry 
Pearson Master) which sailed from thence for 
Hamburg on the 4th of March Old Stile and from 
Gravesend the day following The said Coram 
being then on board and the said Ship very tight 
and every way well provided. 

" That on the 14th day of the same Month in 
the Morning The said Ship came to the River Elve 
and received on board a Hamburger Pilote named 
John Strosolt who took Charge of her (from a 
Holygland man who came on board as a Pilote 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 49 

of Holygland the day before) and in the forenoon 
Anchor'd her in the said River Elve, and in the 
afternoon he Weigh'd Anchor and sail'd up the 
said River for Hamburg until the Evening and 
then Anchor'd againe with the best Anchor and 
Cable. But in the night following the Wind came 
to the North North East and blowed so hard 
between three and four a clock the next morning 
that the said Cable parted and the Ship was a 
Drift, upon which the Second best Anchor was 
drop'd but it did not Ride the Ship which drove 
with the Wind and Tide on upon a Sand or Strand, 
and as soon as she struck on the same, the said 
Pilote gave an 111 Order that the Carpenter shou'd 
immediately cut the Cable which he did accordingly. 
It was then about high Water and the Wind blowing 
very hard with thick small snow and frezeing so 
hard that the Spry of the Sea which beat over the 
Ship, froze into thick Ice upon the Rigging and 
the Decks, and The Master & Seamen very wett 
and Cold, but the wind soon abated, & came More 
Eastwards and the Sea & the Weather much 
smoother, the Ship sett fast & Strong upon the 
easy sand, and it was found by the little Water 
she made which was all pumped out of her, that 
she was not Damag'd Otherwise than the Loss 
of her two best Anchors with part of the Cables 
to them, the first by the Cables parting and the 
second by being cut away by an 111 Order of the 
Hamburger Pilote as afores'd. 

D 



50 THOMAS CORAM 

" Before the Water was Ebb'd from the said 
Ship it was day light by which the said Hamburger 
Pilote & others on bbard saw they were on the 
Strand or Shore of ye Distrect of Ritzebuttel & 
near to the Haven In that Distrect call'd Cox- 
haven where the said Pilote & the other Pilotes 
for the Citty of Hamburg lived for the better 
piloting Ships out of the Sea, up the said River 
Elve, that part of the Country being in the Juri- 
diction of the s'd Citty of Hamburg w'ch hath a 
Baylif or Governor resideing there with some 
Solders, as also a Captain or Director of the sd. 
Pilots & Pilots boats. 

" Then the said Coram (who had not been in the 
Elve before) enquired of the said John Strosolt the 
Pilot, what was fittest to be done In order to gett 
another Anchor & Cable and the Ship of the Strand, 
for the Lower Nip Tides were then comeing on. 

" The said Pilot advised the said Coram to goe 
on shore with him to Coxhaven to the Captain of 
the Pilots who lived their and would Immediately 
send an Anchor & Cable and proper Assistance to 
gett the Ship off. Accordingly before Eight a 
Clock in the Morning the Water was so far Ebb'd 
away that the said Pilote & the said Coram went 
by the Ships Ladder down upon the Sand and 
walked towards Coxhaven, and by the Way meet 
many of the Boores or Country men of the Neigh- 
buereing Villages, who were come on horseback 
from the Land upon the Strand towards the Ship 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 51 

(which had her British Ensigne flying at the Main 
Topmast shrouds) with Axes & Sacks as if they 
Intended to Cutt up the Ship and carry away what 
was in her. But the said Pilote turn'd 'em all 
back, then by teUing 'em ye Ship was Strong and 
tight and had no Water in her and that the Capt; 
& others were on board her. The said Coram 
hyer'd Two of the said Boores horses, as well to 
help him and the said Pilote over Some Deepe 
Slowes & Mirey places at the side of the Land 
going on and off the Strand, As to make the more 
Speed to the Captain of the pilots. Who the said 
Coram found to show a Readiness to doe his part 
for Sending proper assistance to Lighten the Ship 
and heave her off the sand, the said Coram gave 
Notice Immediately of it by a Messenger on horse- 
back with a Letter to the Master of the Ship on 
board, and To let him know he shou'd expect them 
& him with the Tide. 

" The Captain of the Pilots sent for the pilots 
thereabout, but they were then gon to Church 
(it being Sunday Morning ye 15th day of March 
old Stile) and when they were return'd the said 
Captain of those Pilots Order'd some of them to goe 
with their Pilote Hoy (a Vessel between 20 or 30 
Tons) which had a Cable and Anchor on board her, 
and Anchor near the Ship and lye by her until 
he should send other boats and Men with a greater 
Anchor & Cable, to Lighten the Ship & heave her 
off the Sand into Deepe water. 



52 THOMAS CORAM 

" Accordingly Nine, men went (about Noon) off 
in a Small boat to the said Pilot's hoy then at 
Anchor in the Elve before Coxhaven six of which 
nine men were Pilots the other three were Servants 
as the said Captain of the Pilots told the said 
Coram who afterwards understood they did not 
goe to The Ship that Day. 

" The said Captain also sent for Other Pilots 
or boatmen leiveing in that place or Neighbour- 
hood with whom (by means of the said Captain 
who could speak some English) the said Coram 
agreed to pay them Forty DoUers for sixteen men 
and there Evers (large flatt bottomed boats which 
sails and Bear's the Sea well, and are eight or Ten 
Tons or more Each) To carry a Larger Anchor & 
Cable which the said Captain direct'd 'em To take 
to the said Ship, and to help pump the Water out 
if any shou'd be in her, and to heave her off the 
Sand into deepe Water. But in Case they should 
be oblig'd to take any part of the Cargoe (which 
was Wheat mostly in Sacks) into their Evers or 
large boats and put it on board the foresaid Pilot 
Hoy to ligteen the said Ship before They should be 
able to heave her off the Sand Or in Case they should 
find the said Ship so leakey that they should not 
be able to free her by pumping all the Water out 
of her, and should therefore be oblig'd Wholy 
to unload her before they should be able to Stop 
the leakes and get her off, then in either of those 
Cases, they should be paid over and Above the said 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 53 

Forty DoUers, more money According to the 
Value of the works they shou'd doe over above 
their carrying the said Anchor & Cable with sixteen 
men & three evers or large boats to the said Ship 
and pumping the Water out if any should be in 
her, and for heaveing her off into Deepe water as 
aforesaid. And they promised to carry off the 
Said bog,ts, Anchor and Cable to the Ship that 
afternoon, And the said Coram was to goe off with 
them. 

" Soon after this agreement was made with 
those at Coxhaven Viz* Martyn Meenes, Cloes Boat 
and others Notice was brought to them from the 
Village half a Leag off nearest To the said Ship, 
That the Master of her (who being wett & cold and 
impatient the said Pilot did not bring off the 
promised Assistance) was come on the Strand to 
ye Village and that no body was on board Her, 
the Seamen who were extremely wett and cold were 
all come on shore before to warme & Refresh 
themselves. 

" Upon which Notice so brought to Coxhaven, 
the said Coram Observed an Immediate alteration, 
in those there who had agreed to Carry off the said 
Anchor & Cable with three Large boats to the Ship, 
To heave her off &c*. And that they then pre- 
tend'd the Wind was to high to goe off with their 
boats etc; to the Ship that afternoon and yt it 
would be better To defer it until after midnight 
with other pretended difficulties and Delays whereas 



54 THOMAS CORAM 

in truth although ye' Weather continued Frezeing 
the Wind was then moderate & not to high to goe 
off with their boats and Carry an Anchor and Cable 
to the said Ship (as the said Coram who haveing 
had Long Experiance in the Sea affairs very well 
knew) and the wind was then as Low as at any time 
in that Day, And all the Ships in the Elve before 
Coxhaven where Rideing with their Topmast up, 
and the said Coram observ'd their smallest boats 
came and went frequently to & from the Shore. 

" The sudding alteration, in the behaviour of 
those at Coxhaven, Together with reflecting on 
the frequent Barbarities report'd of those People 
when any English Ship happens to be drove upon 
their Shore caus'd a Jellousy in the said Coram 
that they had some 111 Designe against the Ship, 
not to assist her, according to their Agreement, 
but to make a Wreck of her & her Cargoe for their 
owne advantage, which Jellousy increas'd upon his 
Observeing the Holygland Men who came on board 
as a Holygland Pilote before mentioned, To be 
very busy amongst those at Coxhaven, as if they 
were agreed in the same 111 Confederation which 
caus'd the sd. Coram to hasten To the foremen- 
tion'd Village to fine out the Master of the s'd Ship, 
who was gon by another path to Coxhaven to 
hasten off his expected Assistance but finding those 
at Coxhaven wou'd not goe oft to the said Ship, 
and understanding the said Coram was gone to y" 
said Village he hasten'd theither to him, before 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 55 

which time ye' flood Tide had overflow'd the Strand 
On which the ship was setting so that their was no 
turning to her unless any of those at Coxhaven 
woul'd have gon off to her with their boats, and it 
was Dark Night before the Tide was Ebb'd from 
the Strand. The said Coram and the said Master 
endeavour'd what possibly they co'ld to hyer 
horses to Carry y* said Master and two of his men 
to the Ship and a Guide To Shew them the way 
Cleare of the Deepe Slowes and to bring back the 
Horses but none would goe or let their Horses 
goe they all knowing their was nobody on board 
the sd. Ship by which the said Coram & the said 
Master were the more Confirm'd in their beleife 
of a General 111 designe against the said Ship, 
and Cargoe. 

" Then the said Master endeavoiw'd to borrow 
a Lanthorne & Candle to light him & his Mate to 
the Ship but could not get any although he verry 
much desired the Captain of the Pilots to help 
to get one for him, he Being then come to the said 
Village. 

" About Nine a Clock at Night the said Master 
not having been able to procure a Lanthorne & 
Candle, went with his Mate in the dark to find out 
the Way cleare of the Slowes & dangerous places 
to the Ship, Whilest the said Coram went back to 
Coxhaven to endeavoiu- againe with some of those 
there To Carry him off to the Ship, the wind con- 
tinueing Moderate & easy, but they would not be 



56 THOMAS CORAM 

prevail'd upon to doe it which obliged the s"* 
Coram to stay That Night at Coxhaven as the 
said Master and his Mate did at the Village above 
mention'd, they having not been able to find the 
way on to the Strand On which the Ship was setting. 
" Next Morning as the said Coram was Riding 
to the said Village, in his way to the said Ship he 
saw her British Ensigne flying at her Main Topmast 
Shrouds as the day before in which she drove on 
there. He with much difficulty hyerd a Waggon 
to Carry all the Seamen to the Ship from the said 
Village where he left some of them Sick the night 
before with the fateigue & Cold they had in the 
Morning, As he came on the Strand Towards the 
said Ship which Was setting dry upon the Sand at 
a good Distance from the Water, he perceived that 
her Ensigne was taken Away and when he came 
nearer he saw many boats & Waggons round about 
her and many more Waggons driveing hastely 
towards her and abundance of men on board her 
having broken down her Great Cabin Also cutt 
up her Decks in several places, some were hoisting 
out or Lowereing down the sacks of Wheate and 
other things from every quarter & part all round 
her into their Waggons & boats whilst others were 
cutting & takeing away the Rigging & sails, and 
abundance of Waggons goeing away loaded & 
comeing empty, the said Coram also saw two holes 
that had been cutt in her on the Starboard Side 
under the Wales and that the Capstand was 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 57 

throwed overboard & the pump Geere Taken away 
(which are said to be their methods to prevent Ships 
from Being saved) and when the said Coram & the 
s"! Master & Seamen came on board to endeavour 
to put a Stop to their plundering, they on board 
laid hands on the s'^ Coram and threw him dOwn 
on the Deck and Grossly abus'd him & they treated 
the s** Master ba;d or worse Than they did the s^ 
Coram who finding it impossible for him with the 
said Master & Seamen without having any Assist- 
ance from the Government of the place to prevent 
those people from their pursute of spoyling the 
s* Ship & Robing her of everything on board, 
Retired from her to the said Village, and from 
thence went and Made Application To the Governor 
or Baylif at Ritzebuttel, who said he would give 
order That everything which had been taken firom 
the Ship shou'd be brought to the Admiralties 
Storehouse at Coxhaven and those who tooke it 
should have but one third part of it, and the s* 
Coram shou'd have two thirds as Owner of it, 
Accordingly some part of the Wheate which was 
Wett was brought to the said Storehouse and part 
of it sold publickly to Sundry buyers for two 
hundred Thirty three Dollers & Thirty nine Stivers 
and no more. Which was deliver'd to the s* Coram 
who out of the s"* Money paid all the Charges which 
accrew'd, and holds himself Accomptable for what 
he has Receved. 

" The said Coram observed a great deale of 



58 THOMAS CORAM 

Dry Wheate as well as many other Things which 
he saw earry'd in the Waggons from the Ship to 
the Neighbouring Villages, was not brought to 
the foresaid Storehouse, he also Observed that the 
Wheat which was brought from the s^ Ship by 
boats into Coxhaven . . . the greatest part of it was 
brought by Martyn Meenes Cloes Boat and others 
the very same men who had agreed for forty 
Dollers to Carry off an Anchor & Cable to the s* 
Ship and help heave her off the Strand as afore- 
said, and these were some of the men who Dis- 
mantl'd her off her Riggeing and Cutt & Carry'd 
away her Shrouds, Stays &c» and brought Great 
part of it to Coxhaven where it Remain'd in their 
possession when the s" Coram left that place, And 
one of those men thretend to kill the s* Coram for 
goeing into one of their Evers or Large boats to 
looke for some things of the Ship which he supposed 
might have been Conceal' d there he haveing seen 
things Carry'd out of those boats away from the 
said Storehouse, and when they had taken all the 
Wheate out of the said Shipe & Strip'd her cleare 
of everything and had Cutt & Carry'd away all 
her Masts Yards & Bowspreet except the bare 
Main Mast which was only left without Shroud or 
rope to it, then they the said Martyn Meenes Cloes 
Boat and the others who had agreed for forty 
Dollers to Carry off an Anchor & Cable to the s* 
Ship and help heave her off the Strand as aforesaid 
together with the Captain of the Pilots and the 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 59 

forementioned John Strosolt the s** Ships Pilot, 
Went and Stop'd those holes which had been cutt 
in her, by which they made her tight as before, 
and brought the Naked Hull on Thursday the 19* 
day of March old Stile Into Coxhaven where it 
Remain'd in their possession, and was tight and 
strong on j" 25*" day of the same month (when 
the said Coram left Coxhaven) and continueth so 
as the said John Strosolt lately at Hamburg told 
the said Coram, Who likewise Observ'd that on 
the evening of the day on w""" The Ship was drove 
on the Strand when the said Coram was gon to the 
Village nearest the Ship as before mention'd, the 
said Captain of the Pilots came thither to him & 
shew'd him two Soldiers which he said my Lord the 
Governor had order'd there to prevent any body 
from Meddling with y* Ship and told the said 
Coram he must give them Money to pay for their 
Victuals. Accordingly the s* Coram (who had 
not heard before of any Governor or other person 
near y« place superiour to y" Captain of the 
Pilots) then gave those two Soldiers two English 
shillings to pay for their Suppers that night, and 
orderd 'em their Diners the next Day and after- 
wards paid by the Governor or Baylif's for four 
Days victuals had at the said Village by the said 
two Soldiers, Who the said Coram conceives did 
no good for the Ship, for the Next Morning he 
saw one of 'em without having his Armes, by the 
side of the Ship on the Strand standing there with 



6o THOMAS CORAM 

those who were plundering her, but did not see 
him assist nor oppose those plunderers. 

" The said Coram also observed there was not 
the tenth part of the Cargo^ of Wheate nor any 
part of the other goods & stores, w"'' he had seen 
Carry'd from the Ship to the Villages in Waggons, 
Brought to the Admiralty Storehouse afores*, did 
therefore together with the said Master of the 
Ship make Complaint thereof to the said Governor 
or Baylif at Ritzebuttle and pray'd him to give 
an Order and protection to search for those Con- 
ceal'd Goods. Accordingly the said Governor 
Immediatly sent his provost & two Soldiers with y® 
said Coram & the said Master of the Ship, his Mate 
& Carpenter, To Search all suspected houses & 
places for any of the said goods eonceal'd, but the 
delays and behaviour of the said provoust after he 
was come from the said Governor was such as 
gave the s* Coram & those of the Ship with him 
great Reason to beleive the provoust his designe 
was to give notice of it to those who had any of 
the Conceald Goods, and at the first house they 
came to search, the said Master of the Ship desir'd 
a Shop or Large Cupboard should be search'd 
and the woman was about to open it, when one of 
those Soldiers who was for a protection laid hold 
of the said Master and dragg'd him away & drew 
his sword upon him and with both hands to it 
offer'd to Cleave his head for his attempting to 
search there. The said Master escap'd from him 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 6l 

and with his Mate & Carpenter hasted with the 
said Coram and made Complaint of it to the 
Governor or Bayhf at Ritzebuttel who spoake 
angrely to the said provost and soldiers but the 
said Coram did not understand Nither does he 
beleive they had any other punishment from the 
said Governor who would have had the said Coram 
& those of the Ship Returne with the same provost 
& Soldiers againe to Search, but they cold not think 
it proper or safe. The said Soldier was the same 
which stodd with those on the Strand who plundred 
the Ship, and the provost (as the said Captain 
of th Pilots had told the said Coram & those with 
him in those Words) was the worst Rascold in all 
that Country, Nither could it have avail'd much to 
search for the Conceal'd Goods after such an 
allarm had been given of it. 

" The said Coram is possitive that the s"* 
Ship with all her Stores, Tackle & apparel and all 
her Cargoe would have been saved if any of those 
at Coxhaven would have assisted, for being paid 
for it as they would have done, and Notwithstanding 
they would not assist the said Ship the said Coram 
& those belonging to her could have sav'd her & 
her Cargoe without any help or assistance from 
those at Coxhaven, If the Governor or Baylif had 
protected them in it and prevented the people 
from spoyling her and Carrying away her Cargoe 
as might easily have been done. 

" After the said Coram came from Coxhaven to 



62 THOMAS CORAM 

Hamburg he went from thence to Holygland, having 
heard some of the Cargoe and other things of 
the Ship was Carry'd there, where several of the 
Fishermen (one of which was a Rhoadsman or 
Majestrate in that Hand) acknowledg'd they 
were at Coxhaven and had a hand in Spoyleing & 
Robing the said Ship, but the said Coram finding 
the Majestrate there (who are all or the most 
of them working ffishermen) to be so favourable 
to their Bretheren that he was not sufter'd to 
propose any Question To them whereby he could 
have gained the better light into the whole Con- 
federating at Coxhaven for destroying the said 
Ship and Cargoe. . ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^ 

" Jurat coram me, that 
the contents of this paper 
are true To his certain 
knowledge 

" Hamburgh, June 2?, 1719. 

" C. J. ViCH [?]." 

The Latin formula of attestation at the 
foot of this document suggests that the British 
Consul took humorous notice of Coram's 
name, for the three preceding affidavits give 
the formula in English. 

There is nothing on record as to Coram or 
" Thomas Pearse, of London, Esq'?," ob- 
taining any redress for their loss. 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 63 

It is uncertain whether this disastrous 
voyage marks the close of Coram's life afloat, 
but he seems to have given up seafaring life 
for shipping business in London about this 
time. Brownlow ^ suggests that he had saved 
enough money to retire. But this seems incon- 
sistent with the evidence afforded by the old 
seaman's pocket-book for 1729 — ^ten years 
after the loss of the Seaflower — and contain- 
ing later entries. This interesting relic, hand- 
somely bound, is preserved at the Foundling. 
It shows that Coram still carried on business, 
for we find various records of payments 
ranging from hundreds of pounds for cargoes 
of saltpetre down to pence disbursed to boat- 
men. At this time he may have been fairly 
affluent, but wealth he never amassed nor 
wished to gain. Detached from seK-interest he 
was the more at liberty to devote himself to 
the causes he had at heart — the welfare of his 
country and the expansion of Greater Britain. 

With increasing force and success he 
influenced public opinion^by making his ideas 
known to prominent men. By sheer per- 
sistence he came to the front. When the 

1 History , . . of the Foundling Hospital, p. 10. 



64 THOMAS CORAM 

Colony of Georgia was founded in 1732 under 
Oglethorpe, Coram was appointed one of its 
trustees, — a considerable distinction to be 
conferred on a merchant skipper and ship- 
wright. On the parchment Patent Roll erf 
5 George II. his name comes last on the 
list of trustees, as his modesty would have 
made him desire ; and as he was not on the 
Council (a smaller body chosen out of the 
whole number) his part would be consulta- 
tive rather than executive. He could supply 
the Council with expert information. 

Coram went tq see the first colonists set 
out for Georgia. This we know from his 
letter to Henry Newman in 1732. Mr. New- 
man was Secretary to the S.P.G. and S.P.C.K. 
and Agent for New Hampshire. The letter 
was printed in Notes and Queries, 8th Series, 
vol. iv. p. 266, from Macray's Catalogue 
of MSS. in the EawUnson collection in the 
Bodleian Library. It is of great interest for 
its references to Georgia and Oglethorpe, to 
Coram's boyhood, to his lack of education, 
and to his residence at the time of writing. 

" Good Sir by this you se your kindly doing 
me one favour on the lO"* Instant draws on you 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 65 

the Trouble of being requested to do another. I 
have been at Gravesend to see the Little Colony 
saill from thence for Georgia. I writ the Inclosed 
rough Paragraph whilst at Gravesend & came from 
thence the night before last I request you will 
vouchsafe to give it such abreviations, altera- 
tions & amendments as you may judge necessary 
agreeable to the Sence I have in a very dull manner 
put it into, but I cannot Wonder at my own 
awkwardness in such Matters when I consider I 
went to sea at 11 J years old several years before 
Eang Charles ye 2* dyed & as I could never speak 
good English how is it possible I should write good 
Gramer. I humbly ask pardon for presuming to 
give you this Trouble & hope you will pardon 
the Trespass. 

" I am with most profound Respect 
" Sir Your most obdient Ser* 

" Thomas Coram. 
« 20*" Novem^ 1732." 

" at No. 5 in Prescotstreet in Goodmans fields 
where please to send the Inclosd when Corrected. 

" P.S. If you have not one of the Stitched 
Books containing about 40 or 5 (sic) pages w"" Mr. 
Oglethorpe had printed entitled Select Tracts re- 
lating to Colonys I will inclose one of them to you 
if you will please to permit me. 

" T. C. 
"To Henry Newman Esq'." 



66 THOMAS CORAM 

It would be interesting to know what were 
the documents edited by Mr. Newman, and 
whether any of Coram's numerous petitions, 
etc., were subjected to the same friendly 
revision. 

Prescott Street still exists, though much 
changed since 1732 and with an altered 
environment, not far from Aldgate. It was 
possibly the first street in London to have its 
houses numbered.! In 1741 the London 
Hospital removed thither from Featherstone 
Street, and the great Institution carried on 
its work there until 1757, when it was trans^ 
ferred to its present premises in Whitechapel 
High Road. In the vacated building in 
Prescott Street the Magdalen Hospital, Eng- 
land's earliest penitentiary, began its work 
in 1758.2 John Entick, writing in 1766, 
describes the houses on the Goodman estate as 

" in general very good, commodious, & high brick 
houses, inhabited chiefly by such as have their 
business at 'Change, or in public offices." ^ 

1 H. A. Harben, Dictionary of London, p. 272. 

2 H. F. B. Compston, The Magdalen Hospital, 
pp. 41, 60. 

* History and Survey of London, etc., vol. iv. p. 310. 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 67 

There was a tavern called the Ship, and 
near it a popular theatre * where in 1741 
David Garrick made his first appearance. 

Coram' s work as Trustee for Georgia must 
have enlarged his circle of acquaintance and 
extended his influence. It is interesting to 
find that the Accountant to the Trustees, Mr. 
Harman Verelst, became the first Secretary of 
the Foundling Hospital. It is not unlikely that 
Coram met John Wesley when the latter went 
out to Georgia as S.P.G. missionary in 1735. 

One could wish for more detailed informa- 
tion as to Coram' s share in the arrangements 
made by the Trustees for the weKare of the 
new colony. He would probably vote with 
the majority in their decision to prohibit 
the introduction of negro slaves into Georgia. 
Later on the shortage of unskilled labourers 
unfortunately led to the sanction of the 
slave trade there. Another trade at first 
prohibited was that in rum : this decision 
was not long afterwards annulled by the 
Government. 

As Trustee of a Crown Colony Coram 
rapidly became known in the higher reaches 
1 J. P. Malcolm, Manners and Customs of London. 



68 THOMAS CORAM 

of public life. In a letter written in 1735 
to Sir Robert Walpole by his brother Horace, 
afterwards Lord Wolterton, the uncle of the 
Horace Walpole of Literature, occurs this 
passage in reference to colonial discussions 
in Parliament — 

" Loose noe time in talking to Sir Charles 
Wager, Mr. Bladen, & one Coram, the honestest, 
the most disinterested, & the most knowing person 
about the plantations, I ever talked with." ^ 

The value of this unsolicited testimonial 
is the more evident when we remember that 
Walpole at the time of writing it was British 
Ambassador at the Hague, and that such a 
person would be able to gauge the character 
and parts of those with whom he had to do. 
And Coram coram Wager and Bladen is in 
good company. Both the latter gentlemen 
were well-known authorities on colonial ques- 
tions. Martin Bladen's name occurs on 
many a state document of the period, for he 
was a Commissioner for Trade and Planta- 
tions. It is pleasant to find Sir Charles Wager 

1 Coxe, Life of Sir Robert Walpole, iii. p. 243. 
Quoted with slight inaccuracy by Brownlow, History, 
etc., p. 11. 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 69 

d.t a later time associated with Coram in 
philanthropic work ; he joined the original 
Committee of the Foundling Hospital. 

But Coram was not the sort of man to 
be content to bask in the favour or the con- 
descension of distinguished people. He niust 
ever be up and doing. No sooner is the 
colony of Georgia in being but he works 
hard for the establishment, or rather the 
extension, of another settlement, this time 
in Nova Scotia, — one of the most important 
provinces to-day in the Domimon of Canada, 
with fisheries representing something like a 
third part of the wealth of the entire Do- 
minion. He had long had this in view. 
Murdoch states that, as early as 1718, " Gap- 
tain Coram, a famous projector," had " busied 
himself in a scheme for settling Nova Scotia, 
and the lands between Nova Scotia and the 
province of Maine." ^ He now succeeded in 
winning the Government to his views. The 
following Memorial, given by Brownlow in 
a modernized form, is here printed from a 
contemporary copy ; and Coram's footnote, 

^ Beamish Murdoch, History of Nova Scotia, 1865, 
vol.i. p. 350. Cf. vol. ii. p. 200. 



70 THOMAS CORAM 

hitherto unpublished, is added. ^ The Me- 
morial was read in Council on April 3, 
1735, and was referred to a Committee who, 
on May 1, referred it to the Commissioners 
for Trade and Plantations. The latter body 
considered it on June 27. 

" To the King's Most Excellent Majesty in Council 

" The Memorial of Thomas Coram, Gentleman, 
most humbley sheweth, — 

" That your Memorialist having through long^ 
Experience in Naval affaires, and by residing many 
years in yo*^ Majestie's plantations in America 
observed with attention several Matters and things 
which he conceives might be greatly improved for 
the Honour and service of the Crown and the 
Increase of the Trade, Navigation and Wealth of 
this Kingdom ; he, therefore, most humbley begs 
leave to Represent to your Majesty, — 

"That the Coasts of your Majestie's Province 
of Nofua Scotia afford the best Codd-fishing of any 
in the known parts of the world and the Land is 
well adapted for Raising Hemp and other Naval 
stores, for the better Supplying this kingdome 
with the same. But the Discouragements have 
hitherto been such as have deterr'd people from 

^ Foundling Hospital Library, vol. 28 (MSS.), 
pp. 203, 204. Cf. p. 206. 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 71 

settling there Whereby the said Province through 
want of good Inhabitants is not so beneficial to 
this Kingdome, nor so well secured to the Crown 
as it might be, because it cannot be presumed the 
French inhabitants who remain there by virtue of 
the Treaty whereby Nova Scotia was surrender'd 
to Great Britain anno 1710 being all Papist, would 
be faithfull to your Majestie's interest in Case of 
a War between Great Britain and France. 

"Your Memorialist therefore most humbley 
Conceives That it would be highly conducive to the 
Intrest of this Kingdome to settle without Loss of 
Time a competant number of Industrious Pro- 
testant Families in the said province which is the 
Northern Frontier of your Majestie's Dominions 
in America, under a civil Government to be Estab- 
lished by y"^ Majesty conformable in all its Branches 
as near as may be to the Constitution of England, 
w"" seems to be the most probable, if not the only 
means of Peopleing this Province which Experience 
shews could not be effected under y® Military 
Government that hath been exercised there upward 
of Twenty-four years past, and of giving effectual 
Encouragement to the Codd-fishery That valuable 
Branch of the British Commerce, w* hath declined 
very much of late years in proportion as the French 
have advanced therein. 

" Your Memorialist further begs leave to observe 
that the French are Masters of the best Salt in the 
World for Cureing Fish Whereas the English are 



73 THOMAS CORAM 

obliged to have what Salt they use, from Foreign 
Dominions which make it highly Necessary to 
secure a Perpetual supply of salt in your Majestie's 
Dominions in America That we may not depend 
on a precarious Supply of that Commodity from 
the Dominions of other Princes, And yo"^ Memorial- 
ist humbley Conceives That the Island of Exuma, 
which is one of the Bahamas, would afford suffi- 
cient quantities of Salt for all your Majestie's 
subjects in North America provided Cat Island 
another of the Bahamas lying to Windward of 
Exuma was well settled and put in such a posture 
as to be able to Cover Exuma and Protect y* Salt 
Rakers from the Depredations of the Spaniards 
of Baracoa (the settling of Cat Island would be 
otherwise vastly advantageous to y" Crown) and 
Provided the unreasonable Demand of the Tenth 
of all Salt Raked there be abolished, for want of 
which Encouragements the salt ponds of Exuma 
have hitherto been useless to the Publick. 

" To these purposes your Memorialist humbley 
lays the annexed Petition at your Majestie's feet, 
and beggs leave to add That there are several 
Honble and worthy Persons ready to accept and 
act in the Trust therein discribed, if yo'^ Majesty 
shall be pleased to Grant your Royal letters 
Patent for that Purpose. 

"Wherefore he most humbley prays your 
Majesty to order That this Memoriall, together with 
the Petition hereunto annexed, and whatever your 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 73 

Memorialist shall have occasion* further to offer 
concerning the same may be taken into considera- 
tion and that your Majesty will be Graciously 
pleas'd to do therein as to your Majesty in your 
great Wisdome and Goodness shall seem proper. 
"And he will ever pray, &c., &c. 

" Thomas Coram. 

* "The Memorialist had sufficiently Experienced 
that without it should be mentioned in the prayer of 
the Petition, the Commissioners for Trade & Planta- 
tions would not take into their consideration anything 
further than what should be Expressly Contained in 
the Order to them. " 

This Memorial was supported by a Petition 
signed by more than a hundred working men 
suffering from the competition and the over- 
stocked labom- market of London, and anxious 
to be " settled securely in some of the Planta- 
tions of America." They ask for a free 
passage to Nova Scotia, and for a civil 
government when they settle there as like 
that of England as practicable. The hand of 
Coram is visible in this Petition, not least 
perhaps in the reference to the " temptations 
which always attend poverty." He was 
peculiarly fitted for promoting emigration. 
Himself a colonist, and a seaman who had 



74 THOMAS CORAM 

crossed the Atlantic many times, the founda- 
tion of a colony was something he could 
visualize in aU its details. He was in touch 
both with influential people and the poor ; 
and he had the determination to get things 
done. 

Coram's proposals were seriously con- 
sidered. He sent the Commissioners of Trade 
and Plantations further information in July ; 
and he appeared before them several times 
in 1735-7 in order to go more fully into 
details. The result was that, after mature 
dehberation, the Commissioners came to the 
following conclusion, in a document dated 
April 22, 1737 :— 

" The settlement of Nova Scotia with English 
inhabitants is of very great consequence to his 
Majesty's interest in America, and to the interest 
of this kingdom, from its situation with regard 
to the French, and from the fishery now carried 
on at Conso, and the several branches of naval 
stores that province is capable of producing, when 
once it shall be settled, as we have several times 
represented to his Majesty and to your lordships, 
particularly in our report of the 7th June, 1727 ; 
and therefore, we think it very much for his 
Majesty's service, to give all possible encouragement 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 75 

to any undertaking for this purpose, especially 
when attended with so great an appearance and 
probability of success as that of Mr. Coram's now 
under our consideration." 

It must have been a great disappointment 
to Coram, to his working-men petitioners, 
and to many more people, when this aus- 
picious beginning was followed by a delay 
of many years. Had Coram been in Parlia- 
ment, or had his friends there shared in his 
tireless energy, Halifax, N.S., would have 
been founded years earlier than 1749. It is 
pleasant to reflect that he lived to see his 
ideas carried out. Did the old mariner (he 
was then over eighty) watch the expedition 
set out under the command of CornwaUis, 
as he had watched the departure for Georgia 
seventeen years earHer ? There were 2576 
emigrants in the thirteen transports that 
anchored in Chebuctoo Bay, and very soon 
after their arrival Halifax was in being. ^ It 
was more than thirty years since Coram had 
first suggested such a settlement. 

The very chequered history of Nova Scotia 
in the eighteenth century may to some extent 
1 D. Campbell, Nova Scotia, pp. 98, 99. 



76 THOMAS CORAM 

explain, if it cannot wholly excuse, the strange 
neglect of Coram's work by historians. The 
present writer has consulted numerous books 
on Nova Scotia and has found not a word 
about Coram except in Beamish Murdoch ; ^ 
and probably few citizens of Halifax, N.S., 
are aware that the first settlers there virtually 
owed their new home to the projector of the 
Foundling Hospital in London. A lady at 
the lecture on Coram referred to in the Preface 
of the present work, stated that as a girl in 
Halifax she had seen an old print repre- 
senting a boat being rowed to the shore, and 
that one of the occupants was indicated as 
" Coram." No one could give her any in- 
formation as to the bearing of this picture 
on the history of the city. 

But in his own days Coram's work was 
recognized not only by statesmen, as we have 
seen, but by the public. For a popular con- 
temporary estimate take the following lines 
from the Scandalizade (1750), where he is 
clearly regarded as virtually a founds of 
Nova Scotia. After a friendly allusion to 
Hogarth's portrait of Coram, the old Captain 
^ Supra, p. 69, footnote. 



CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 'J^ 

is represented as bewailing the jobbery and 
corruption that had crept into the govern- 
ment of Nova Scotia : — 

" Malcontented, he ciy'd, 'tis with Sorrow I see 
A scheme made a Job of, projected by me. 
This same Nova Scotia will hardly succeed. 
To provide for a Lobster ^ abroad was the Deed, 
Boundry Commissi'ners, & Agents, & Clerks, 
Loungers, & Leaches, & such kind of Sharks." 

Then a certain architect is introduced — 
described as " Like the Church he erected, 
expensively dull " — who 

" Address'd the old Captain ; prithee why dost thou sob ? 
Nova Scotia's in very good hands for a jobb : 
For is not the Government civil forsooth ! 
With all its free Laws in the Governor's mouth ? " 

When Halifax shall have recovered from 
the terrible catastrophe which evoked such 
universal sympathy, it would be a graceful 
act on the part of its rebuilders to make some 
kind of memorial, however simple, to one 
who deserves so well of the Empire and of 
Halifax as Thomas Coram. 

It might have been supposed that Coram's 
interest in the colonies relaxed when in the 

1 The red-coated British soldier. 



78 THOMAS CORAM 

midst of his work for the Foundling. Yet 
in 1739 we find him going to the Duke of 
Newcastle (then Secretary for State) bearing 
the following letter, which does not appear 
to have been published. The complaint has 
reference to fraudulent paper money. 

[Newcastle Papers, Add. 32,692, f. 536.] 

"My Lord 

" I had the hon' to present to your Grace 
about 13 months past, a Memorial at Clermont 
setting forth some pernicious Frauds & abuses 
Continually practised in some of the Northern 
parts of New England greatly to y^ Prejudice of 
the Crown and preventing the Increase of settle- 
ments in those parts. 

" One of those practitioners is lately come over 
hither for accomplishing their further Vile Designs 
against His Majesty Intrest in y* said Plantations 
Wherefore I Request to be permitted to speak 
to your Grace thereon 

" I am w*** the Greatest Respect 
" may it please your Grace 
" Your Grace's 

" most obedient Serv* 
" Thomas Coram 

" Now in the Hall. 
" The Duke of Newcastle." 






CORAM THE EMPIRE-BUILDER 79 

Now in the Hall." One thinks of a 
queue." In those days the word meant 
the tail of a wig, and Coram wore his own 
abundant hair. But queues, in a sense un- 
pleasantly famiUar in this era of rations, 
were formed often enough in the eighteenth 
century at the doors of theatres and fashion- 
able churches, and in the lobbies or ante- 
rooms of the mansions of the great. How 
long did the petitioner — ^vigilant guardian 
of his Majesty's interests — have to wait before 
he obtained a hearing ? 

Among other instances of Coram' s interest 
in colonial matters recorded by Brocklesby 
is a pleasant little story ^ which may bring 
this chapter to a close. Enghsh hat-manu- 
facturers were much exercised by colonial 
, interference in foreign markets. Coram went 
into the matter and decided that the colonists 
were in the wrong. He exerted himself 
successfully in adjusting matters. The 
hatters were so grateful that they desired 
to present their benefactor with a sum of 
money. " But Captain Coram had a notion, 
that if a man's hands were not empty, they 
1 Quoted by Brownlow, History, etc., pp. 28, 24. 



8o THOMAS CORAM 

could not long be clean : he had a just sense 
of their gratitude, but did not care to have it 
expressed by any other present than that of 
a hat, which he received as often as he had 
occasion, and, which in its size, spoke the 
good wishes of the makers in a very legible 
character." 

Is Coram entitled to the appellation of 
" Empire-Builder " ? It depends, of course, 
upon the connotation we give the term. He 
has not left a name as famous as that of a 
Clive or a Rhodes. But though not perhaps 
a Master-Builder, he did fine service as an 
expert subordinate in the great task of Build- 
ing. Without education or social advan- 
tages, and with no special equipment save 
seamanship, sincerity, and shrewdness, he 
either originated, or bore his part in, measures 
that tended greatly to the advancement of 
this Commonwealth and of another then 
unborn. It has taken many men, at sundry 
times and in divers manners, to raise the 
edifice of Empire; and among its Builders 
Thomas Coram is entitled to a worthy place. 



VI 



THE FOUNDLING HOSPITAL: COEAM THE 
PHILANTHROPIST 

This chapter may not unfittingly begin with 
some verses written by Lord Tenterden ^ for 
one of the annual dinners at the Foundling 
Hospital. 

" The ship sail'd smoothly o'er the sea, 

By gentle breezes fann'd. 
When Coram, musing at the helm, 

This happy fabric plann'd : 
Not in the schools by sages taught 

To woo fair virtue's form ; 
But nursed on danger's flinty lap. 

And tutor'd by the storm. 

" When threat'ning tempests round him rag'd. 
And swelling billows heav'd. 
His bark a wretched orphan seem'd. 
Of aid and hope bereav'd. 

^ Baron Tenterden of Hendon, Lord Chief Justice, 
who presided at the trial of the Cato Street conspirators 
and at other State trials, was a zealous governor of the 
Foundling. He died in 1832, and by his own desire 
was buried there ; his body rests not far from that of 
Captain Coram, in the vaults under the Chapel. 

81 p 



82 THOMAS CORAM 

If through the clouds a golden gleam 

Broke sweetly from above, 
He bless'd the smiling emblem there 

Of charity and love. 

" Around the glowing land he spread 

Warm pity's magic spell. 
And tender bosoms learn'd from him 

With softer sighs to swell. 
Beauty and wealth, and wit and power 

The various aid combin'd ; 
And angels smiled upon the work 

That Coram had design'd. 

" Virtue and meekness mark'd his face 

With characters benign. 
And Hogarth's colours yet display 

The lineaments divine ; 
Our ground his ashes sanctify. 

Our songs his praise employs ; 
His spirit with the bless'd above 

His full reward enjoys." 

The poem suggests that Coram's interest 
in forsaken children began while he yet fol- 
lowed the sea. But his real work on their 
behalf dates from about the year 1720, when 
he took up his residence at Rotherhithe. 
Rotherhithe was a much pleasanter spot then 
than it is now. But his environment was 
very different from what he had experienced 
hitherto — different from Lyme Regis, or the 








m^' 



VMlJ! ;' 







CORAM THE PHILANTHROPIST 83 

rolling expanse of the Atlantic, or Boston 
and Taunton. His business journeys to and 
from the City often required an early start 
and a late return. And frequently in the 
dim dawn or in the moonlight he was horrified 
to see by the roadside dead babies : they 
had been murdered, or else abandoned to 
the chances of charity or starvation. 

Such sights could not fail to stir Coram 
to the very depth of his heart. Here was 
something that made clamant appeal to the 
two noble passions of philanthropy and 
patriotism. Those infants might have lived 
to become useful citizens at home or in the 
plantations. 

The Poor Law had failed to avert their 
fate. Nowadays conditions have, thanks in 
no small degree to Coram himself, so changed 
for the better that innumerable journeys 
from Rotherhithe to the Royal Exchange 
can be undertaken without the disagreeable 
likelihood of seeing deserted babes on dung- 
hills. Had better provision existed in his 
days Coram might never have planned his 
Charity — which would have been a loss to 
England ; or he might have projected one 



84 THOMAS CORAM 

on different lines — ^which would have been 
a greater gain. Guilford Street might have 
had its Coram Orphanage. As things were 
then, however, he could find no other way 
of saving children for the nation than that 
afforded by a Foundling Hospital on lines 
more or less similar to those of such Institu- 
tions on the Continent. England was latest 
in the field in work of this kind, though the 
idea of it was not new, as witness e.g. the 
history of Christ's Hospital and its period of 
" Foundlingism." ^ Coram was England's 
St. Vincent de Paul. 

The way had been prepared for the pro- 
motion of a Foundling Hospital by Joseph 
Addison. Brownlow does not mention him. 
But in the Guardian, No. 105 (1713), Addison 
printed an essay which foreshadows so closely 
the path taken by Coram that it is difficult 
not to suppose that he had read this powerful 
appeal.^ 

1 E. H. Pearce, Annals oj Christ's Hospital, pp, 26, 
35, 36, 38, 198, 246. 

2 Similarly the way for the first English Peniten- 
tiary was prepared by the Rambler, No. 107. H. F. B, 
Compston, The Magdalen Hospital, p. 21, etc. 



CORAM THE PHILANTHROPIST 85 

Addison begins with some lines from 
Ovid {Amores II. Eleg: xiv. 35-38)— 

" Quod neque in Armeniis tigres fecere latebris : 
Perdere nee foetus ausa Lesena suos. 
At tenerse faciunt, sed non impune, puellse ; 
Saepe, suos utero quae necat, ipsa perit." 

They are thus rendered — 

" The tigresses that haunt th' Armenian wood. 
Will spare their proper young, tho' pinch'd for food ! 
Nor will the Lybian lionesses slay 
Their whelps : but women are more fierce than they, 
More barbarous to the tender fruit they bear ; 
Nor Nature's call, tho' loud she cries, will hear. 
But righteous vengeance oft their crimes pursues. 
And they are lost themselves who would their 
children lose." 

After speaking of a recent gathering of 
Charity Schools " in that part of the Strand 
which reaches from the May-pole to Exeter- 
change," and the lessons it suggests, he 
proceeds — 

" Since I am upon this subject, I shall mention 
a piece of charity which has not yet been exerted 
among us, and which deserves our attention the 
more, because it is practised by most of the nations 
about us. I mean a provision for foundlings, or 
for those children who, through want of such a 



86 THOMAS CORAM 

provision, are exposed to the barbarity of cruel 
and unnatural parents. One does not know how 
to speak on such a subject without horror ; but 
what multitudes of infants have been made away 
by those who brought them into the world, and 
were afterwards either ashamed, or unable to pro- 
vide for them ! 

" There is scarce an assizes where some un- 
happy wretch is not executed for the murder of 
a child. And how many more of these monsters 
of inhumanity may we suppose to be wholly un- 
discovered, or cleared for want of legal evidence ! 
Not to mention those, who by unnatural practices, 
do in some measure defeat the intentions of Provi- 
dence, and destroy their conceptions even before 
they see the light. In all these the guilt is equal, 
though the punishment is not so. But to pass by 
the greatness of the crime (which is not to be 
expressed by words) if we only consider it as it 
robs the commonwealth of its full number of 
citizens, it certainly deserves the utmost appliea* 
tion and wisdom of a people to prevent it. 

"It is certain, that which generally betrays 
these profligate women into it, and overcomes the 
tenderness which is natural to them on other 
occasions, is the fear of shame, or their inability 
to support those whom they give life to." 

He then shows " how this evil is pre- 
vented in other countries " — ^in the Foundling 



CORAM THE PHILANTHROPIST 87 

Hospitals at Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, Rome ; 
and the essay ends with these words — 

" This, I think, is a subject that deserves our 
most serious consideration, for which reason I 
hope I shall not be thought impertinent in laying 
it before my readers." 

Coram emphasized the need of giving a 
refuge to women " to hide their shame " ; 
and the very first meeting of the Foundling 
Committee took steps to find how the problem 
had been dealt with on the Continent. Like 
Addison, too, he felt strongly on the loss to 
the State of its children. 

Owing probably either to this essay, or 
to Coram's campaign, or both, several persons 
bequeathed money for a Foimdling Hospital 
if ever such a Charity should be founded in 
England.^ 

A feature of some interest in Coram's 
work for the proposed Hospital is his success 
in winning the help of influential women. 
This seems quite a new thing in eighteenth- 
century Charity. Twenty-one ladies " of 

^ There is an allusion to this in Coram's petition 
(p. 92). The first of such legacies received by the 
Foundling was Josiah Wordsworth's — £500. 



88 THOMAS CORAM 

Quality and Distinction " led the way, under 
the old mariner's gmdance, with a petition 
to the King. A second petition, from Noble- 
men and Gentlemen, is dated at Knowsley 
Hall, Lancashire, in December, 1735, signed 
by Lord Derby and fifty-one other important 
men. There is a contemporary copy of this 
document at the Foundling (Lib. MS. vol. 
6). The petition is brief and to the point, 
referring to the Ladies' " subscription," and 
commending the project and the appeal for 
a Charter of Incorporation. A third petition 
was that of numerous Justices of the Peace, 
residing in or near London, and other " Per- 
sons of Distinction," to the same effect. 

Heralded thus magnificently Coram's ap- 
peal follows. The petition bears every sign 
of originality and is Coram's own. It is here 
printed, apparently for the first time, from a 
contemporary copy at the Foundling (Lib. 
MS. vols. 6 and 31). 

" To the King's most Excellent Majesty in Council 
" The Memorial & Petition of Thomas Coram 
Genf in behalf of great numbers of 
Helpless Infants daily exposed to De- 
struction 



CORAM THE PHILANTHROPIST 89 

" Most humbley Sheweth 

"That many Ladys of Quality and Dis- 
tinction being deeply touched with Concern 
for the frequent Murders committed on poor 
Miserable Infant Children at their Birth by 
their Cruel Parents to hide their Shame and 
for the Inhumane Custom of exposing New- 
born Children to Perish in the Streets or the 
putting out of such unhappy Foundlings to 
wicked and barbarous Nurses who under- 
taking to bring them up for a small and 
trifling Sum of Money do often suffer them 
to Starve for want of due Sustenance and 
Care Or if permitted to live either turn them 
into the Streets to begg or steal or Hire them 
out to Vicious persons by whom they are 
trained up in that infamous way of living 
Whereby Thefts Robberys and Murders do 
grievously abound, and some of those Miser- 
able Infants are Blinded or Maimed or Dis- 
torted in their Limbs in order to move Pity 
& Compassion and thereby become the fitter 
Instruments of gain to those Vile, Mercyless 
Wretches. 

" That in order to redress such deplorable 
Grievances and prevent as well the effusion 
of so much innocent blood as the fatal Con- 
sequences of that Idleness Beggary or Stealing 
in which such poor Foundlings are Generally 
bred up, and to enable them by an Early and 



90 THOMAS CORAM 

Effectual Care of their Education to become 
useful Members of y® Common Wealth The 
said Ladys in their Tender Compassion for 
the Sufferings and lamentable Condition of 
such poor abandoned helpless Infants as well 
as the enormous abuses and Mischiefs to which 
they are exposed and for the better producing 
good and faithful Servants from such Miser- 
able, Cast off Children or Foundlings now a 
Pest to the Publick and a Chargeable Nuisance 
within the Bills of Mortality and for Settling 
a Yearly income for their Maintenance and 
proper Education until they come to fit age 
for Service Have in a written Instrument 
Declared they are desirous to encourage and 
Willing to Contribute towards the Erecting 
an Hospital after the Example of France 
Holland and other Christian Countrys and 
Supporting the Same for the Reception Main- 
tenance and proper Education of such aban- 
doned helpless Infants which they Conceive 
will not only prevent many Horrid Murders 
Cruelties and other Mischiefs But be greatly 
beneficial to the Publick. 

"That many Noblemen and Gentlemen 
highly approving the said Ladys Charitable 
inclinations Have by another Instrument in 
Writing Declared their hearty Concurrence 
for advancing to the utmost of their power 
so Humane and Christian an Undertaking 



CORAM THE PHILANTHROPIST 91 

Promising each for himself that whenever 
Your Majesty may be Graciously pleas'd to 
Grant Letters Patent for the more effectual 
carrying on so useful a Designe they will 
readily employ their Interests in Recom- 
mending and Contributions in Supporting an 
Hospital in or near London for the Reception 
Virtuous Education & usefuU Training up of all 
such helpless Infants as may be brought to it. 
" That many of Your Majesties Justices of 
the Peace within the Bills of Mortality and 
other Persons of Distinction Sensible of the 
great Necessity there now is for such an 
Hospital Have by another Written Instru- 
ment set forth That a Foundation of this 
kind Established under good Management 
would not only save the lives of Many of 
your Majesties Subjects but be a Meanes of 
rendering them useful to the Publick either 
in the Sea or Land Service And that a Designe 
so humane and Charitable as rescuing helpless 
Infants from inevitable Destruction cannot 
fail of being Encouraged by many Rich well 
disposed persons, and highly recommending 
the Obtaining Your Majesties Royal Charter 
of Incorporation to such Persons as your 
Majesty shall think fit to enable to receive 
and apply the Charitys of such well disposed 
Persons in such manner and under Regula- 
tions as may best answer so laudable a Purpose 



92 THOMAS CORAM 

" That many other Charitable Rich Persons 
have promised to Contribute hberally towards 
so Excdlent a Work as soon as your Majesty 
may be pleas'd to Grant your Royal Letters 
Patent for that good Purpose Several Legacys 
of Persons Deceas'd have been bequeath'd for 
the Same to be paid by their Executors when 
any such Hospital shall be properly estab- 
lished here. 

" May it therefore Please your Most Gra- 
cious Majesty to Grant your Royal Charter for 
Incorporating such Persons as your Majesty 
shall think fit for the receiving and disposing 
the Charities of your Majesties good Subjects 
for the Erecting and Suppor;ting an Hospital 
for the Reception Maintenance and proper 
Education of such Cast off Children or Found- 
lings as may be brought to it in order to be 
made good Servants and when Qualified to 
dispose of them either to the Sea or Land 
Service in such manner and under such Regu- 
lations as to your Majesty in your great 
Wisdom may seem meet. 

" And your Petitioner Shall as in Duty ever 
pray &c: 

" Thomas Coram." 



This Petition, which is undated, came 
before the King in Council on the 21st of 



CORAM THE PHILANTHROPIST 93 

July, 1737, and was referred to a Committee. 
On the 29th of July the Committee referred 
it to the Attornej'^ and Solicitor-General " to 
Examin into y* same together with such 
Proposals or Heads of a Charter as M' Coram 
shall lay before them " and to report to the 
Committee. 

Another petition to Royalt^y met with 
scant attention — that addressed to the 
Princess AmeUa, daughter of George II. The 
actual document, in a beautiful, " copper- 
plate " hand- writing, is preserved at the 
Foundling ; and on it is the following note 
in Coram's own hand : — 

" On Innocents' Day, the 28th of December, 
1737, I went to St. James's Palace to present this 
Petition, having been advised first to address the 
Lady of the Bedchamber in waiting to introduce 
it. But the Lady Isabella Finch, who was the 
Lady in waiting, gave me very rough Words, and 
bid me begone with my Petition, which I did, with- 
out Opportunity of presenting it." 

It is quite likely that Lady Isabella lived to 
regret her incivility to an old man who was 
toiling so unweariedly and unselfishly in a 
good cause ; and not unlikely that later on 



^4 THOMAS CORAM 

site may have joined with other smart ladies 
in making the Foundling gardens a resort of 
fashion. 

There must have been many to whom 
Coram brought his petition who gave him 
rough words and bade him begone ; and be- 
fore relating the success of his application 
for a Charter it is worth while to reflect upon 
the difiiculties he had to encounter. 

These difficulties were of a nature he had 
not experienced hitherto. On questions re- 
lating to colonies or trade he was an expert. 
In sociology he was but an amateur. His 
task was to influence public opinion and at 
the same time to clarify his own ideas as to 
precise objects and methods. Brocklesby ^ 
says that " he began, in respect to this design, 
as he did in all others, with making it the 
topic of his conversation, that he might learn 
the sentiments of other men, and from thence 
form some notion whether what he had in 
view was practicable." His opportunities 
were great, for he was known personally to 
a good many influential people who trusted 
him. And the fact that he was at work on 

1 Quoted by Brownlow, History, etc., p. 26. 



CORAM THE PHILANTHROPIST 95 

his project for seventeen years before suc- 
ceeding suggests that he met with much 
discouragement and opposition. This was 
indeed to be looked for. The objections that 
could be urged against the idea of a Foundling 
Hospital were obvious and serious enough. 
Would not such an Institution tend to in- 
crease illegitimacy ? Would it not smooth 
the path of vice ? Would not the remedy be 
worse than the malady ? Coram would, with- 
out doubt, meet with such criticism as was 
afterwards expressed so freely when the 
Foundling was actually at work. The theme 
of a coarse satire in wretched doggerel entitled. 
Joyful News to Batchelors and Maids : being 
a Song in praise of the Fondling Hospital, and 
the London Hospital, Alder sgate Street, '^ is that 
yoimg people may have their fling. Every 
accommodation is offered them. The woman 
can lie in at Aldersgate Street and get rid of 
her bantling at the *' Fondling." The verses 
end with the wish that Coram, as his reward, 
may " with mighty Jove for ever dwell." 
Of much higher literary quahty, but 

1 There is a copy in the British Museum. It is 
undated. 



96 THOMAS CORAM 

equally coarse, is the criticism in the Scan- 
dalizade (1750) : the " expensively dull " 
architect, after his remarks about Nova 
Scotia {supra, p. 77) proceeds — 

" But this is not all the Effects of thy Pains. 
The Hospital Foundling came out of thy Brains, 
To encourage the progress of vulgar Amours, 
The breeding of rogues & th' increasing of Whores, 
While the children of honest good Husbands & 

Wives 
Stand exposed to oppression & Want all their 

Lives." 

The critic then goes on to utter scur- 
rilous insinuations against Coram's moral 
character. 

Where criticism is sincere and without 
maHce good may follow. To hear different 
opinions from all sorts and conditions of men 
for seventeen years would on the whole be 
advantageous to Coram. It would force him 
to think out his problems in all their bearings. 
The present writer is inclined to believe that 
Coram went into the work with his eyes 
open to its risks, and that the Foundling 
Hospital represents a venture of faith. It 
seems probable that he relied on the wise 
support of the men whom he succeeded in 



CORAM THE PHILANTHROPIST 97 

wirming to his side. Your eighteenth-century 
unprofessional philanthropists were business 
men willing to devote time and thought, as 
well as money, to the Charities they adminis- 
tered. A Foundling Hospital was an experi- 
ment, and its success depended largely on 
the character of its Committee and officers. 
Notice Coram's emphatic words, at the 
Governors' first meeting, that the success of 
the undertaking could only be secured if 
" due and proper care be taken for setting 
on foot so necessary an establishment." ^ 
Among contemporary Governors of the 
FoundUng were men like Jonas Hanway, 
Robert Dingley, John Thornton, Sir Hans 
Sloane, the Speaker (Onslow) ; and it was 
men of that calibre who sooner or later were 
attracted to the great cause. 

Through good report and ill, through fine 
weather and foul, the old mariner had held 
on his course ; and by the autumn of 1739 
he brought his bark to port. A Charter of 
Incorporation, dated October 17, 1739, was 
granted to — ^not the " Foundling " Hospital, 
to which term it has no legal title, but^ — ^the 

1 Brownlow, History, etc., p. 4. 

G 



98 THOMAS CORAM 

Hospital for the Maintenance and Education 
of Exposed and Deserted Young Children. 

The Charter was read at a general meeting 
of supporters on Tuesday, November 20, 
1739, at Somerset House. It was a distin- 
guished gathering. There were six Dukes, 
eleven Earls, and numerous other noble Lords 
and Gentlemen. Prominent among the Com- 
moners was Hogarth. One of the principal 
speakers was Richard Mead, the foremost 
physician in England. The newspapers and 
magazines of the time have reports of the 
proceedings, and Coram's speech to the Presi- 
dent, the Duke of Bedford, is fortunately on 
record.^ Coram probably read his speech, and 
its brevity suggests the pruning hand of a 
friend — 

"My Lord Duke of Bedford, 
" It is with inexpressible pleasure I now present 
your Grace, at the head of this noble and honour- 
able corporation, with his Mpjesty's royal charter, 
for establishing an Hospital for exposed children, 
free of all expense, through the assistance of some 
compassionate great ladies, and other good persons. 

^ Given in full by Brocklesby, quoted bj"^ Brownlow, 
History, etc., pp. 28, 29. 



CORAM THE PHILANTHROPIST 99 

"I can, my lord, sincerely aver, that nothing 
would have induced me to embark in a design so 
full of difficulties and discouragements, but a zeal 
for the service of his Majesty, in preserving the 
lives of great numbers of his innocent subjects. 

"The long and melancholy experience of this 
nation has too demonstrably shewn, with what 
barbarity tender infants have been exposed and 
destroyed, for want of proper means of preventing 
the disgrace, and succouring the necessities of their 
parents. 

" The charter will disclose the extensive nature 
and end of this Charity, in much stronger terms 
than I can possibly pretend to describe them, so that 
I have only to thank your Grace and many other 
noble personages, for all that favourable protection 
which hath given life and spirit to my endeavours, 

" My Lord, although my declining years will not 
permit me to hope seeing the full accomplishment 
of my wishes, yet I can now rest satisfied, and it 
is what I esteem an ample reward of more than 
seventeen years' expensive labour and steady ap- 
plication, that I see your Grace at the head of this 
charitable trust, assisted by so many noble and 
honourable Governors. 

"Under such powerful influences and directions, 
I am confident of the final success of my endeavours, 
and that the publid will one day reap the happy 
and lasting fruits of your Grace's and this Corpora- 
tion's measures, and as long as my life and poor 



100 THOMAS CORAM 

abilities endure, I shall not abate of my zealous 
wishes and most active services for the good and 
prosperity of this truly noble and honourable 
Corporation^' 

The first Committee Meeting was held 
on November 29 at " Mr. Manaton's great 
Room in the Strand," the well-known Crown 
and Anchor tavern. The President and thirty 
members attended. Here Coram produced 
the seal of the Corporation, Sigillum Hospitii 
Infantum Expositorum Londinensis. 

There was plenty for the Committee to 
do. Where was the Hospital to begin its 
work ? Coram had waited so long that he 
is said to have wished to begin forthwith by 
erecting an encampment under canvas in 
Lamb's Conduit Fields, i If so, he had hit 
upon the very site on which the Governors 
later on decided to build. The search for 
temporary premises took some time, but by 
December, 1740, the Committee had secured 
the house in Hatton Garden formerly occupied 

1 Observations on the Foundling Hospital, printed 
for private distribution amongst the Governors (un- 
dated : dr. 1840-1860), p. 8. Brownlow may have 
written this pamphlet. 



CORAM THE PHILANTHROPIST lOl 

by Sir Francis Tench. It was opposite 
the still existing Charity School. The first 
Meeting of the Committee there was held on 
January 10, 1740 (N.S. 1741), when a Sub- 
Committee was appointed to arrange for 
furnishing the buildings. By March a Staff 
had been chosen and the Foundlings soon 
made their appearance. The first boy and 
girl baptized (by Mr. Smith, of AU Hallows, 
liOndon Wall, who officiated gratis) were 
named Thomas and Eunice Coram respec- 
tively ; and there has always been a child 
thus commemorating the Founder or his 
wife ever since then in the Foundhng 
Hospital. 

Coram attended diUgently to Committee 
work. He did not rest on his oars. Things 
great and small secured his careful notice. 
The following little note to Sir Hans Sloane 
has not, apparently, been pubUshed hitherto : 
it probably refers to some assistant, or to a 
child in the family of one of the foster mothers 
to whose care the Foundlings were, as now, 
committed — 



102 THOMAS CORAM 

[Sloane MSS. 4057, 81.] 
"Hon" Sik 

"I request your favour to this pretty 
Girle who has long had a sore Eye but has not yet 
been able to obtain any Relief for it. I humbley 
ask your Pardon for this Freedome. 

" I am with the Greatest Respect 
"Hon"^ Sir— 

"Your Hon" 

" most obedient Servant 

"Thomas Coram. 
" 28 October 1741." 

All intereafcing little item of business occurs 
in the Minutes of this first year at Hatton 
Garden — ^the repayment of the money ex- 
pended by Coram in connexion with the 
Charter, from April 17, 1738, to the time of 
Incorporation. The legal fees, etc., amounted 
to £217. It was in anticipation of this outlay 
that Coram wrote to a friend — 

" The Fees will be more than 200 guineas to 
prepare and pass the Charter . . . notwithstanding 
it is on so compassionate a case, but I am told & 
do believe, if it was to prevent the abolishing of 
Christianity out of the World no Lawyer nor Office 
man would abate of his Fees." ^ 

1 H. A. Hill, Thomas Coram in Boston and Taunton, 
p. 16. 



CORAM THE PHILANTHROPIST 103 

We must now notice a mournful episode 
in the life of Coram and the history of the 
Foundling — ^his exclusion from its governing 
body. This took place as early as 1741, 
before the present buildings were even begun. 
Brownlow supposed that the rupture was due 
to some difference with regard to the policy 
of the Committee.! The real reason was a 
more personal one, and has never hitherto 
been put on record. 

At a meeting of the General Committee, 
October 21, 1741, it was reported that a 
letter had been received, signed only with 
two initials, intimating that there were 
" many irregularities " in the Hospital and 
that discreditable rumours were in circulation. 
A Sub-Committee was at once appointed to 
examine this matter. On November 9 it 
reported that certain stories spread by 
nurses were untrue and mahcious. These 
stories had reflected on the character of 
two members of the Committee. The Sub- 
Committee gave it as their belief that " Mr. 
Thomas Coram, one of the Governors of this 

^ History, etc., p. 6. Cf. Observations on the Fotmd- 
ling Hospital (Anon: n.d.), p. 7, 



104 THOMAS CORAM 

Hospital," had been "principally concerned 
in promoting and spreading the said asper- 
sions." Coram and his friend, Dr. Nesbitt, 
who seems to have been implicated in this 
affair, though not censured, were both under 
the displeasure of their colleagues and were 
" sent to Coventry." ^ 

Perhaps Coram had been unable to work 
harmoniously with some of the Committee 
and was too ready to listen to gossip about 
them. He ought, of course, to have con- 
fronted them with any facts to their discredit. 
It is, however, very difi&cult to imagine him 
as a back-stairs conspirator. We do not 
know all the facts of the case, for a sealed 
dossier on the subject had disappeared before 
the middle of last century. 

The incident soon brought to a close 
Coram's active participatioh in the affairs of 
the Hospital. The last Committee he ever 
attended was that on May 5, 1742. He was 
present at the Annual Court in the week 
following (May 12) and was not re-elected. 
His last vote was given against the otherwise 

^ Minutes, and ef. memoranda in F. H. Library, 
vol. 60, MS. 



CORAM THE PHILANTHROPIST 105 

unanimous resolution approving the purchase 
of 400,000 bricks for the new Hospital. 

Thus excluded from the Charity he had 
founded, it must have been with very mournful 
interest that Coram saw the spacious buildings 
in Guilford Street steadily rising from the 
groimd. Only one letter, hitherto unpubUshed, 
with reference to the Foundling subsequent to 
his rupture with the Committee, appears to be 
known. It is a little note among the Stowe 
MSS. (British Museum), 165, 38. 

"To M' Swift the Steward or To Madam the 
Matron at y« Foundling Hospital in Lambs Conduit 
Fields. 

"Sir oe Madam 

" be pleased that M' Cook and His Friends 
may see your Children and the Hospital &c. in 
favour of 

" Sir and Madam 

"Your most obedient humble Servant 

"Thomas Cokam. 
"4*'' May 1747."! 

*The date is added in a different hand, perhaps 
that which wrote on p. 3 of the sheet of paper : " This 
benevolent man gave all he was possessed of to 
Charitable purposes, & was at last maintained by the 
Trustees of the Foundling Hospital, & was buried at 
their Expense." 



io6 THOMAS CORAM 

There is something pathetic in this obseqtiious 
request from the founder excluded from the 
councils of his own Hospital. Coram himself 
used to visit the Hospital, or its fore-court, 
to " comfort himself with a sight of the 
children." i He was often to be seen, clad 
in his well-worn red coat, seated on a 
bench under the Arcade, and regaling small 
Foundlings with gingerbread. These little 
tokens of their benefactor's kindness were 
purchased with money subscribed, as we 
shall see, for the giver's own support in the 
poverty of his old age.^ There he would sit, 
often with tears in his eyes. Those little 
children, munching gingerbread, owed aU 
their well-being to that shabbily dressed, 
broken-down old man. The great buildings 
that included their home and school and 
chapel had been built with money he had 
raised. And he had no more to do with the 
poUcy and administration of the Institution 
than had the casual visitor. 

^ Mr. CoUingwood's reminiscences in F. H. Library, 
vol. 60, MS. 

2 Collingwood, as above ; and F. H. Library, vol, 
24, MS. 



CORAM THE PHILANTHROPIST 107 

Assuredly the Governors were badly to 
blame for letting Coram's opponents have 
theu" way. A permanent estrangement from 
the aged philanthropist ought to have been 
avoided. Happily there were many who 
cared for him, and he had light at even- 
tide. 

It is outside the scope of this sketch of 
Coram to trace further the story of the 
Foundling even in the remaining years of 
his life. Save for incidental allusions he 
disappears from its Annals. 

But we must not omit a brief reference 
to a remarkable by-product of Coram's bene- 
fic ence. The Foundling Hospital has rendered 
important services to the Arts and has itself 
been enriched by them. Brownlow is at his 
best (especially in the Memoranda) in dealing 
with this part of his subject. He may have 
had his daughter's assistance here, for Miss 
Emma Brownlow was an artist of no mean 
merit. 

Famous painters, sculptors, and musicians 
gave their support — often in novel ways — 
to the new Charity. The first in the field 
was Hogarth, who considered his portrait of 



io8 THOMAS CORAM 

Coram, painted in 1740,* his finest work of 
its kind. The reproduction of this famous 
picture, one of the Foundling Hospital art 
treasures, as our frontispiece is "after" 
Hogarth, but not too far after to give some 
idea of the artist's skill. There is a reference 
to this portrait in Lord Tenterden's verses 
{supra, p. 82), and in the Scandalizade — 

" Lo, old Captain Coram, so round in the face, 
And a pair of good chops plump'd up in good case, 
His amiable locks hanging grey on each side, 
To his double-breast coat o'er his shoulder so wide." 

The Exhibitions of Painting at the Foundling 
were the direct and immediate origin of the 
Royal Academy. 2 Let our next visit to 
Burlington House remind us of what English 
Art owes to Thomas Coram. 

Music, too, foiind a very congenial home 
at the Foundling, where the music has always 
been a prominent feature of the Chapel ser- 
vices. Handel conducted annual perform- 
ances of Messiah there, bringing in some 
£7000 to the Charity. Dr. Burney and other 

1 Foundling Hospital Minutes, May 14, 1740. 

2 J. E. Hodgson and F. A. Eaton, The Royal 
Academy and its Members, 1905, and elsewhere. 



CORAM THE PHILANTHROPIST 109 

musicians of distinction took an interest in 
the Foundling, and there was a proposal to 
establish there a national School of Music 
on the lines of the Conservatories on the 
Continent. The children are taught music 
very efficiently, and a large number of the 
boys Join the Army as bandsmen in the finest 
Regiments. 

But the story of the FoundUng and the 
Arts must be reserved for the Annals of the 
Hospital. 

The Institution is continuing the good 
work begun so long ago by Thomas Coram. 
Some features of the system in force have 
always had their critics — ^the exclusion of 
children born in wedlock,^ the sudden and 
final separation of mother and child, the 
difficulty of securing a " home " atmosphere 
where hundreds are barracked together, and 
soon. 

Some objections may be more apparent 
than real. In any case the efficiency of any 
Charity depends largely on its administrators. 
And the Hospital could not be bettered in 

^ This regulation was relaxed by the Governors for 
some time during the Napoleonic wars. 



no THOMAS CORAM 

this respect. It is highly probable that if 
Coram were alive to-day he would be more 
than satisfied with the actual working, and 
the proved and manifold results, of his 
philanthropic achievement. For it is surely 
an achievement. Of some twenty-four thou- 
sand infants rescued from death — and a 
worse fate — ^the great majority have been 
reared successfully. They have been fed, 
and clothed, and fitted for worthy citizen- 
ship. A considerable proportion must have 
married and had families. The number of 
Coramidse in the world to-day would people 
a colony. The Dorset skipper has deserved 
well of his country. 




>•! '■-<}^--.. 






To face p. 110 



STATUE OF CAPTAIN CORAM 

IN FRONT OF THE FOUNDLING HO.SPITAI.. 

RV WII.T.IAM CAr.DFR M A Iv^HAI.T., R.A. 

Photo, by Hinery ll'alK-rr. Ltd. 



VII 

" AND THOUGH MEN BE SO STRONG THAT THEY 
COME TO FOUR-SCOBE YEARS, YET " 

There remains little now to be recorded, for 

we have watched Coram' s voyage of life nearly 

to its close. 

Soon after the Foundling was started, 

Eunice Coram, his faithful wife for some 

forty years, died ; and the lonely old man now 

appears to have met with poverty. Perhaps 

he had let business affairs slide and had not 

the heart to attend to them with his former 

energy. But his friends came to the rescue. 

It was unthinkable that one who had done 

so much for his country should starve ; and 

a fund for his maintenance was started by 

Dr. Brocklesby and Sir Sampson Gideon. 

When Brocklesby broached the matter to 

him, fearful of offending by suggestions of 

charity, Coram replied with quiet dignity : 

111 



112 THOMAS CORAM 

" I have not wasted the little wealth of which 
I was formerly possessed in self-indulgence 
and vain expenses, and am not ashamed to 
confess that, in this my old age, I am poor." ^ 
The fund raised was sufficient to provide for 
some modest degriee of comfort in his de- 
clining years. Well-to-do merchants were 
the principal subscribers, but one benefactor 
was the Prince of Wales, who contributed 
twenty guineas annually ; and Brocklesby 
remarks — as if the fact were noteworthy 
where Princes are concerned — ^that he paid 
the money " with as much punctuality as 
any of the rest of the subscribers " ! 

The closing years of the life of the old 
benefactor — now a beneficiary — ^were passed 
in lodgings near Leicester Square. 

This was a very different place from what 
it rather suddenly became in the middle of 
the nineteenth century. The reference to 
Leicester Square in the song, " It's a long, 
long way to Tipper ary," would have puzzled 
a soldier in the eighteenth century. Que 
diable faisait-il dans cette galere ? 

Where now stands the Empire Music Hall 
^ Brownlow, History, etc., p. 32. 



REQUIESCAT 113 

was the famous Town house of the old Earls 
of Leicester, where royal princes set up oppo- 
sition courts — ^the " pouting place of princes." 
Coram died a hundred years before the time 
when the Alhambra, first named the " Pan- 
opticon," was opened with prayer and blessed 
by Bishops for the popularization of Natural 
Science. On the site of the Alhambra stood 
John Hunter's house and museum, with 
Hogarth as next-door neighbour. Hogarth 
lived there all the time of Coram's residence 
in the vicinity. On the west side opposite, 
Messrs. Puttick & Simpson now occupy the 
house which, a few years after Coram's death, 
became the home of Sir Joshua Keynolds. 
On the south side, just down St. Martin's 
Street, stood Sir Isaac Newton's house, after- 
wards occupied by Fanny Burney and her 
father the great musician — ^prominent in 
Foundling Annals. This house has not very 
long since been demolished. 

A prominent Leicester Square resident in 
Coram's time was his friend Mr. Onslow, 
Speaker of the House of Commons. Other 
famous eighteenth-century residents were 
David Hume and Sir Thomas Lawrence. 

H 



114 THOMAS CORAM 

Thus to the associations of Science, Ait, 
Music, Literature, Politics, and Royalty with 
Leicester Square were now added those of 
Coram's many-sided activity. No spot in 
London has had a more interesting history, 
and none could more appropriately — ^from 
this point of view — be renamed Ichabod. 

On Friday, March 29, 1751, Thomas 
Coram died in the eighty-fourth year of his 
age. He had expressed a wish to be buried 
at the Foundling, and here he was laid to 
rest on Wednesday, April 3, at 5 p.m. It 
would be interesting to know whether the 
funeral was attended by any of the clique 
with whom Captain Coram had disagreed 
nine years earher. If so they did not omit 
the garnishing of their prophet's sepulchre. 
But there had been changes in the Committee, 
and a new Treasurer now reigned. A large 
number of Governors assembled to do honour 
to the founder of their Hospital, and a great 
concourse of people thronged the gates. The 
High Constable of Holborn with six of his 
officers attended, and a dozen workmen were 
at the doors of the Chapel to exclude any 



REQUIESCAT 115 

persons not wearing mourning attire. In the 
funeral procession girl Foundlings came first 
with their matrons, then the boys with theirs. 
Immediately in front of the coffin the Charter 
of Incorporation on a velvet cushion was 
borne by the Secretary, Mr. Harman Verelst, 
Coram's friend for many years. The pall 
was supported by six Governors, and the 
Treasurer followed as chief mourner. This 
was Mr. Taylor White, whose pleasant coun- 
tenance we see portrayed in Francis Gotes's 
fine crayon drawing in the Secretary's Office. 

The music was sung by choristers from 
St. Paul's Cathedral ; they had ofiEered volun- 
tarily their services, and Dr. Boyce, one of 
the most prominent English musicians of the 
day, conducted them. 

One would like to know more of Coram — 
of his home life, of his inner spiritual life. 
Much of his character we may know ; and 
no lengthy estimate need be attempted here. 
If this sketch has not altogether failed in it3 
purpose we shall have formed some impression 
of a man who in spite of limitations and draw- 
backs, left his mark on the life of the eighteenth 



ii6 THOMAS CORAM 

century. Uneducated, unpolished, not per- 
haps very conciliatory in his intercourse, for 
many years a merchant skipper and a working 
shipwright, he saw what useful things he 
might do ; and he did them. He succeeded 
in his aims, or many of them, by sheer force 
of character. He said what he meant, and 
meant what he said. Men believed in him. 
His unselfishness was conspicuous : he spent 
and was spent for the good causes he had at 
heart. He loved his Church, he loved his 
country, he loved Uttle children. 

Our study must conclude with a perusal 
of Coram's memorial inscription : it is cut 
in stone under the Arcade on the south side 
of the Foundling Chapel — 

CAPTAIN THOMAS CORAM, 

whose name will never want a monument 
so long as this Hospital shall subsist, 
was born in the year 1668 ; 
a man eminent in the most eminent virtue, 
the love of mankind ; 
little attentive to his private fortune, 
and refusing many opportunities of increasing it, 
his time and thoughts were continually employed 
in endeavours to promote the public happiness, 
both in this kingdom and elsewhere ; 



REQUIESCAT I17 

particularly in the Colonies of North America ; 
and his endeavours were many times crowned 
with the desired success. 
His unwearied^ solicitation, for above seventeen years 
together 
(which would have baffled the patience and industry 
of any man less zealous in doing good), 
and his application to persons of distinction, of both 
sexes, 
obtained at length the Charter of the Incorporation 
(bearing date the 17th of October, 1739), 

for the maintenance and education 

of exposed and deserted young children, 

by which many thousands of lives 

may be preserved to the public, and employed in a frugal 

and honest course of industry. 
He died the 29th March, 1751, in the 84th year of his age; 

poor in worldly estate, rich in good works : 
and was buried at his own desire, in the Vault under- 
neath this 
Chapel (the first there deposited) at the east end thereof, 
many of the Governors and other gentlemen 
attending the funeral to do honour to his memory. 
Reader, 
Thy actions will show whether thoU art sincere 
in the praises thou may'st bestow on him ; 
and if thou hast virtue enough to commend his virtues, 
forget not to add also the imitation of them. 



INDEX 



Act f or . . . importation of 

naval stores, 45. 
Addison, J., 83. 
Aldersgate Street, 95. 
Alhambra, 113. 
Annals of Christ's Hospital, 

84 n. 
Austin, , 40 f . 

Bandsmen, Army, 109. 

Bedford, Duke of, 98. 

Beer (near "LjmB Regis), 22. 

Bennett, Dr. H. S., 6. 

Bent, Rev. N. T., 18, 34 »., 36 ». 

Berkley (Mass.), 30. 

Besant, Sir W., 17. 

Bladen, M., 63. 

Bodleian Library, 14, 64. 

Boston (Mass.), 14, 26 f., 29, 

371 
BoBwell, J., 15. 
Boyoe, Dr. W., 115. 

Bridge, Rev. , 33 n. 

Briggs, J., 35. 
British Fleet, The, 25 n. 
British Museum, 14, 15 f. 
Brooklesby, R., 5, 15 f., 41, 79, 

94, 98 n., 110 f. 
Brookwell, C, 36 n. 
Brownlow, Emma, 107. 
Brownlow, J., 5, 14 f., 16, 36 »., 

41 TO., 45 «., 63, 68 n., 69, 84, 

94 TO., 97 »., 98 »., 100 to., 103, 

107. 



Building of. the Ship, The, 28. 
Burlington House, 108. 
Bumey, Dr. C, 108, 113. 
Bumey, Fanny, 113. 
Burt, , 30 f . 

Cambridge (Mass.), 37. 
Cambridge Modem History, 18. 
CampbeU, D., 75 n. 
Caritas Anglicana, 19. 
Carolina, 45. 
Causidieade, 16. 
Charity : 

Eighteenth Century, 11-13. 

Elizabethan, 9 f . 

" Joint-stock," 11. 

Laymen's, 12. 

Monastic, 9. 
Charity (Bnc. Brit.), 19. 
Charity Schools, 85. 
Chebuctoo Bay, 75. 
" Cobb," The, 21 f. 
Collingwood, T., 106 n. 
Commissioners of Trade and 

Plantations, 74. 
Compton, Bp., 38. 
Coram, Eunice, 27, 101, HI. 
Coram, Thomas : 

Early years, 20-25. 

Li America, 26-32. 

Marriage, 27. 

Return to England, 44. 

Wreck of Seaflower, 47-62. 

Colonial enterprise, 44-80. 



120 



INDEX 



Coram, Thomas — continued : 
Work for Foundling Hospital, 

81-110. 
Excluded from Committee, 

103 f. 
Poverty, 106, 111 f. 
Death, 114 f. 

Memorial Inscription, 116 f. 
Letters, 40 f., 641, 78, 101 f., 

105. 
Petitions: the King, 70-73, 
87-93. 
Princess Amelia, 

93. 
Abp. of Canter- 
bury,26n.,27»., 
36-39. 
Coram in Boston and Taunton. 

See under H. A. Hill. 
Coram, William, 21. 
Corham family, 20. 

armorial bearings, 20 n., 
23 ra. 
Corham, Francis, 20 n. 
Corham, Thomas, 20 n. 
Comwallis, Hon. E., 76. 
Cotes, Francis, 116. 
Coxe, Ven. W., 68 n. 
" Crown and Anchor," 100. 
Cunningham, W., 46 n. 
Cuxhaven (Coxhaven), 47. 

De Casteo, J. P., 6. 

De Libris, 18. 

Dictionary of National Biography, 

14, 18. 
Dingley, R., 97. 
Discourse historical, etc. See 

under Bent. 
Dobson, Austin, 16 n., 17 f. 

Eatok, F. a., 108 n. 
Eighteenth Century VigneOes, 17. 



Elizabethan Poor Law, 9 f . 
Empire Music HaU, 112. 
Entick, John, 66. 

Feathbbstokb Street, 66. 
Foundling Hospital, 6, 12 »., 13- 
15, 28, 82-110. 
Library, 20 n., 70 «., 88, 104 n., 
106 n. 
Friendly Admonition to Drinkers 

of Brandy, 35. 
From Seed to Harvest, 30 n. 

Garbick, David, 67. 
Gentleman's Magazine, 17. 
Georgia, 45, 64 f ., 67. 
Gideon, Sir S., 111. 
Goodman's Fields, 65 f. 
Gravesend, 65. 
Gray, B. Kirkman, 11 n.^ 12 n., 

18 f. 
Greenwood, F. W. P., 18. 
Qrowth of English Indusbry, etc., 

46 n. 
Guardian, The, 84-87. 
Guilford Street, 84, 105. 

Halifax (N.S.), 76 f., 77. 
Hallett, T., 21. 
Hamburg, 47 seq. 
Handel, G. F., 108. 
Hanover, 47. 
Hanway, Jonas, 97. 
Harben, H. A., 66 ». 
Harburg, 48. 
Harvard, 37. 
Heberden, W., 15 «. 
Helderenbergh, The, 23. 
Heligoland, 62. 

Heriot, , 38. 

Herring, Abp., 37. 
Hill, H. A., 18, 28 »., 29 n., 3d n., 
102 n. 



INDEX 



121 



Historical Collections of Ameri- 
can Church 18, 31, 33 n., 36. 
History and Objects of the 

Foundling Hospital. See under 

J. Brownlow. 
History and Survey of London, 

etc., 66 n. 
History . . . of Dorset, 17. 
History of English Philanihropy, 

11 n., 19. 
History of King's Chapd in 

Boston, 18. 
History of Nova Scotia, 69 «. 
Hodges, Rev. Dr. F. P., 23 n. 
Hodges, Rev. Dr. G., 6. 
Hodgson, J. E., 108 n. 
Hogarth, W., 17, 82, 98, 107 f„ 

113. 
Hospitals, etc. : 

Female Orphan Asylum, 12. 

Foundling. See under F. 

London, 66. 

Magdalen, 12 n., 66. 

St. George's, 11 n. 
Hume, David, 113. 
Hunter, Dr. John, 113. 
Hutchins, J., 17. 

Indians, North American, 39- 
43. 

Jackson, C, IS. 
Jenkins, Rev. C, 6. 
Johnson, Samuel, IS. 
Joyful News to Batchelors and 
Maids, 9S. 

King's Chapel, Boston (Mass.), 

18, 29, 31, 33, 37 f. 
King's College, London, 6. 
Kinterbury, 20 ». 

Lakbeth Palace Library, 14. 



Lamb's Conduit Fields, 100. 
Lawrence, Sir T., 113. 
Leoky, W. E. H., 12 n. 
Lectures on the Catechism, 35. 
Leicester Square, 112-114. 
Liesohing.H. S., 6. 
Lincohi, P. 0., 30 n. 
Loch, C. S., 19 
London Advertiser, 13, 17 
London Evening Post, 17. 
London Magazine, 17. 
LongfeUow, H. W., 28. 
Lyme Regis, 17, 20-23. 

Magdalen Hospital : the Story of 

a great Charity, 66 n., 84 n. 
Malcolm, J. P., 67 n. 
Manaton's Rooms, 100. 
Manners and Customs of London, 

67 n. 
Marine Society, 12 n. 
Mead, Dr. R., 98. 
Memoirs . . . Royal Navy, 18. 
Memoranda, or Chronicles of the 

Foundling, See under J. 

Brownlow. 
Messiah, The, 108. 

Miles, Rev. , 33 «. 

Mills, , 18. 

Monasteries, '9. 
Monmouth, Duke of, 23. 
Murdoch, B., 69. 
Myers, Rev. Canon, 6. 

Napoleonic Wars, 109 w. 
Nesbitt, Dr., 104. 
" New Style "Act, 37 ». 
Newcastle, Duke of, 78. 
Newfoundland, 46. 
Newman, Henry, 64r-66. 
Newton, Dx. A. P., 6. 
Newton, Sir Isaac, 113. 
Nichols, R. H., 6. 



122 



INDEX 



Nichols and Stevens, 17. 
Nonconformists, 29, 37 f. 
Notes and Queries, 64. 
Nova Sootia, 69-77. 
Nova Scotia (Campbell), 75 n. 
Nova Scotia, History of (Mur- 
doch), 69 m. 

Observations on the Foundling 
Hospital, 100 «., 103 n. 

Oglethorpe, Gen., 13, 64 f. 

Onslow, A. (The Speaker), 36, 
97, 113. 

Orphan Asylum, 12 n. 

Ottery St. Mary, 20. 

Ovid, 85. 

Peaece, Ven. E. H,, 84 n. 

Pearse, Thos., 48, 62. 

Pearson, Henry, 48 seq. 

Pelagius, Porcupinus, 16. 

Penny London Post, 17. 

Pepys, S., 18. 

Phipps, Sir W„ 27. 

Portus, Garnet, 19. 

Potter, Abp., 37. 

" Pouting Place of Princes," 

113. 
Presoott Street, 65 f . 
Price, Roger, 33. 
Private Virtue and Publich Spirit 

displayed, etc., 16. 
Puttick and Simpson, 113. 

Bambler, The, 84 n. 
Besin, 45. 

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 113. 
Risdon, Tristram, 20 n. 
Roberts, Geo., 17. 
Robinson, C. N., 25 ». 
Roderick Random, 24. 
Rotherhithe, 82 f. 



Royal Academy and its Members, 

108 m. 
Royal Colonial Institute, 3. 

St. Thomas' Church, Taunton 

(Mass.), 36 f. 
Scandalizade, 16, 76 f., 96, 108. 
Seaflower, The, 47-63. 
Seeker, Abp., 36. 
Select Discourses, etc., 35. 
Select Tracts relating to ths 

Colonies, 63. 
" Ship " Tavern, The, 67. 
Sloane, Sir Hans, 97, 101 f . 

Smith, Rev. , 101. 

Smugglers, 22. 

Society for Promoting Christian 

Knowledge, 64. 
Society for the Propagation of 
the Gospel, 26 n., 28 »., 33, 
38 f., 64, 67. 

Digest of Records, 39 n. 
Statute of Charitable Uses, 10. 
Statutes at Large, 44 n. 
Stoughton College, 37. 
Stowe MSS., 103. 
Survey of Devon, 20 n. 

Tab, 26, 44 f . 

Tar Company of Sweden, 44. 
Taunton (Mass.), 27-36. 
Taylor, Rev. M., 6, 32 n. 
Tench, Sir F., 101. 
Tennyson, Alfred, 43 n. 
Tenterden, Lord, 81 »., 108. 
Thornton, John, 97. 
" Tipperaty," 112. 
Trinity House, 46. 
Turpentine, 45. 

Vbeelst, H., 67, 115. 
Vincent de Paul, St., 84. 
Virginia, 26. 



INDEX 



123 



Wageb, Sir 0., 68. 

Wait, Eunice. See under 

Eunice Coram. 
Walford, B., 17. 
Walpole, H. (Lord Wolterton), 

68. 
Waipole, Sir Robert, Life of, 

68 ». 



Wesley, Rev. John, 67. 
White, Taylor, US. 
Whitehatt Evening Post, 17. 
Whitney, Rev. Dr. J. P., 6. 
Willson, Rev. W. N., 6. 
Wintle, W. S., 15. 
Wolfall, , 38. 



THE END 



CKINIED B7 WIUIAU OLOWIS AJ^D SONS, I^IMIXBD, LONDON AND BBOOLEa. 



BY THE SAME AUTHOR. 

THE MAGDALEN HOSPITAL 

THE STORY OF A GREAT CHARITY. 

With a Foreword by the Archbishop of Canterbury. 

fVit/i 20 Illttstraiions, 

240 pages. Cloth, 7s. 6d. net. 



EXTRACTS FROM SOME OF THE PRESS NOTICES. 

Athenseum [Two reviems, one 0/^ columns]. — ' ' Mr. Compston's history 
of the Magdalen Hospital is a useful and very necessary contribution to 
one aspect of social history. It is simple, unprejudiced, and scholarly^-a 
model for a work of reference on a difficult and diffuse subject." 

Church,Times. — ' ' Mr. Compston has done his work carefully and well. 
We have seldom read a more interesting narrative, for he has made diligent 
search into long-forgotten deeds and documents and discovered much 
matter which throws a light upon the men and manners of those times." 

English Historical Review.— "The story of the Hospita,l is 
edifying, and it has been well done by Mr. Compston." 

Hospital. — " With a wealth of detail and richness of collateral illus- 
tration . . . Mr. Compston pilots us through a century and a half of 
institutional history, taking care that the history is accompanied through- 
out by a sufficiency of description of contemporary manners and events to 
make the whole doubly interesting. To institutional readers the history 
of the Magdalen is well worthy of study, but in the form in which it is 
presented it can easily attract and hold the attention of a much wider 
circle of readers." 

International Journal of Ethics.—" ... the work is written 
well and with great care and detail, it is magnificently printed, and it is 
altogether of very great interest and value." 



HERE BEGINNETH 

A Study in the Hebrew Scriptures. 

("English Churchman's Library" Series.) 

A. R. MOWBRAY & CO. 

Price Is. 3d. net. 



EXTRACTS FROM PRESS NOTICES. 

Commonwealth. — " ... an altogether admirable introduction to 
Old Testament Studies along the three parallel lines of History, Literature, 
and Doctrine. ... It deserves a wide circulation among the laity." 

Church Family Newspaper. — "A masterly piece of work." 

Church Times. — "A scholarly, discriminating, and reverent piece of 
work." 

Guardian. — "The vivid and interesting chapter on the Hebrew Lan- 
guage is a distinctive feature in this little treatise. The whole has the air 
of having been written with enjoyment, and it is therefore sure to give 
enjoyment to its readers." 

Indian Churchman. — " Professor Compston writes in an eminently 
clear and interesting manner, and he has the great merit of awakening in 
the reader a desire for more extended study." 

Record [TAe reviewer criticizes the author's "higher critical " standpoint, 
but says'] — " From its peculiar point of view, however, and with its necessary 
limitations. Professor Compston's book is excellent ; and we hope that his 
interesting account of the Hebrew languj^e will induce some of his 
readers to take up its study." 

Times Literary Supplement. — "An excellent introductory manual." 



Lessons on Celebrities of Hebrew Story 

By Rev. H. F. B. COMPSTON and Rev» H. A. LESTER. 

(London Diocesan Sunday School Manuals.) 

LONGMANS, GREEN & CO. 

Price Is. 6d. net. 

For elder scholars in Sunday Schools. Preachers also will find it of use. 
Favourably noticed in Church Newspapers, Diocesan Magazines, Tinus 
Educational Supplement, Sunday School Times, b'c. 



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